BBC blasted over woke Dad’s Army warning: ‘Making issues when there aren’t any!’December 20, 2021
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Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Co are back on our screens tonight. The ‘Turkey Dinner’ episode of the classic comedy series Dad’s Army airs on BBC Two at 7pm this evening. Some 46 years after the episode first aired, it remains a classic.
Mainwaring’s Home Guard platoon decides to give a turkey dinner to the old age pensioners of Walmington-on-Sea.
Inevitably, it ends in chaos.
Running for nine series and 80 episodes in total, Dad’s Army was an international success.
It regularly attracted audiences of an enormous 18 million viewers, and continues to have an influence on British culture even today.
The catchphrases “you stupid boy” and “we’re doomed” still have a special place in British TV history.
In common with several other British sitcoms from the Sixties and Seventies, Dad’s Army was the subject of a spin-off feature film, released in 1971. Critics’ reviews were mixed, but the film performed well at the UK box office.
The film was shown on the BBC at the beginning of this year, but not without controversy.
The BBC issued a warning that viewers may find it “offensive”, sparking backlash.
The pop up said: “Contains discriminatory language which some my find offensive”.
The film features jokes about Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and contain iconic catchphrases, notably Lance Corporal Jones’ “they don’t like it up ‘em”.
Furious fans took to social media to vent their anger at the warning.
Abigail Cobley tweeted: “BBC Two introducing the 1971 Dad’s Army film as having ‘discriminatory language’. Woah!
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“As a massive Dad’s Army fan I’d like to know what lines exactly! Stop making issues when there aren’t any!”
Another fan, Peter Clapham, tweeted: “This film has been show [sic] many times, only now they have to make a pronouncement there might be discriminatory language. What has changed, are people now looking for offence in any and everything?”
A third Twitter user, ‘CRoW’, said: “And the BBC continuity [sic] announcer introduces Dad’s Army the movie in the most BBC way ever.
“‘May contain discriminatory language which some may find offensive.’ You mean like slagging off the Nazis?”
A BBC spokesperson said: “Since Dad’s Army first aired public attitudes have changed significantly and guidance was given at the start of the programme due to a specific discriminatory remark.”
A source later told the newspaper that the warning was specifically for the phrase “fuzzy wuzzy” — a derogatory term for a black person.
Warnings have been placed on several classic programmes from yesteryear — including High Hopes and The League of Gentlemen.
Fans reacted angrily last year when the broadcaster removed Little Britain from iPlayer and there was talk that the same fate might befall Fawlty Towers.
Then-media minister John Whittingdale said in Parliament last year: “It is the case that if we look back, certain programmes which were extremely popular, for instance in the Sixties, would now be regarded as wholly unacceptable, and that is something which obviously not just the BBC but all of us need to remain sensitive to.
“But I do think there is a risk that certain programming, which is still widely enjoyed ‒ and it was even suggested to me at one stage that Fawlty Towers might be removed as it gave offence to people ‒ this is taking political correctness too far.”
Fawlty Towers was not removed by the BBC, but Little Britain was.
David Walliams and Matt Lucas have both expressed their regret at the use of blackface in the sketch show, and have apologised on multiple occasions.
Dad’s Army airs on BBC Two at 7pm tonight. Some episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.
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