Friday, October 31, 2008

Popular sketch comedy show "Little Britain" panders to hatred and homophobia, says academic

"Little Britain does far more to promote racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism and classism than it does to satirise them..."

UK Pink News reports:
Popular comedy show Little Britain has more in common with Bernard Manning [the controversial English stand-up comic] than the generation of subversive comedians who followed in his wake, according to a new academic work. LSE researcher Deborah Finding's study, I Can’t Believe You Just Said That: Figuring Gender and Sexuality in Little Britain, forms the basis of a chapter in a new book of essays on the BBC show to be published next year. Ms Finding applies a technique called figurative analysis to the comedy’s characters - showing how their physical traits are often projections of ‘nasty ideas’ rooted in fears about the working class, homosexuals or other less powerful groups.

For example, in laughing at Vicky Pollard - a fat, chain-smoking, single mother - we are expressing our fear and hatred of a group by projecting onto her stereotypical body the perceived qualities of all working-class single mothers - feckless, stupid and promiscuous. Even Daffyd [pictured], the self-proclaimed ‘only gay in the village’, is a character who connects the idea of being homosexual with being ridiculous and therefore relies on ‘mainstream’ fears about gayness. READ MORE