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An old episode of BBC’s Little Britain has been called “explicitly racist and outdated” in recent research by Ofcom.
The comedy show, which was written and starred David Walliams and Matt Lucas, first aired in 2003 and ran for three years.
A study by TV watchdog Ofcom showed a series of clips to people looking into audience expectations on potentially offensive content across streaming services and linear TV.
One of which included a sketch from a Little Britain episode where David played the role of university employee Linda Flint.
During the clip, people saw the now 52-year-old describing an Asian student called Kenneth Lao to her manager over the phone.
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Viewers heard him describe Kenneth as having “yellowish skin, slight smell of soy sauce” as well as other racist slurs.
Polling company Ipsos questioned more than 100 people on Ofcom’s behalf for the research which found the sketch was offensive in stereotyping.
Part of the report said participants saw the content as: “Explicitly racist and outdated and felt that society had moved on.”
It went on to add that although a few people found it funny, they were embarrassed to say so and could see why it would be offensive.
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The report continued: “The clip was considered less acceptable because the participants felt it was purposely offensive in stereotyping and targeting an ethnic minority group for comedy purposes.
“Some reasoned that it was important to still show this content to reflect the beliefs of society at the time.
“However, there were concerns that it could normalise racist behaviours which could be repeated by young children.”
Little Britain has come under fire in the past few years with it being removed in 2020 from streaming services due to criticism over the use of blackface in the show.
It returned to iPlayer last year, however, this time some scenes had been edited out.
Speaking about the Linda Flint comedy sketch, a BBC spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “All jokes in our output are judged on context and intent.
“The sketches in which the character Linda Flint makes reference to the appearance or race of a series of people are intended to expose and ridicule some of the outdated prejudices and racism that still exist in parts of British society, which is more apparent when viewing the sketches within the context of a full episode, and across the series as a whole.
“The programme is part of the BBC’s comedy archive and information is provided for iPlayer viewers about the inclusion of discriminatory language.”
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