/ fawlty tower editing - censorship or sensitive

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tommycoopersghost on 24 Jan 2013
Following the beebs editing out of racist jokes, what do you think - censorship or sensitive and sensible to a more diverse Britain?
ThunderCat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

Whats been edited out? The Major using the N word?
Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay: It is censorship, hard to claim otherwise. Probably over sensitive, but you're not going to get a very ethnically diverse spread of opinions here.

What do you think of Tony Blair's censorship of the Blazing Saddles joke?
tommycoopersghost on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

i know. Sadly we're not a very broad church, ethnically or socio-economically, and many would say gender wise either.

Which is precisely why it's interesting canvassing opinion.
tommycoopersghost on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to ThunderCat:

Exactly, the whole cricket debate with the major.

Personally, i feel that it actually mocks the majors racism, like we laugh at rigsby and alf garnetts racism.

I don't feel qualified to pass comment on its use in a modern context without consulting ethnic minorities.
thin bob on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:
It was before the watershed, that might have had an impact.
It's a tricky balance and people of different ages / backgrounds would react to it differently.when I heard it for the first time, I flinched and gasped & then laughed as the joke sank in. Even back then, it was shocking.

I'm not generally in favour of cutting things out, as it serves as a mirror for people that would use the words/ideas seriously.
In this case, I don't think taking the lines out spoils it. Before the watershed, I agree, reluctantly (as I would *hope* that children would question it and be educated...I suspect that it would end up being a playground phrase).
MonkeyPuzzle - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

I think the Beeb are too scared of people not being able to spot the difference between fictional '70s portrayals of racist characters and the Beeb being racist. Sadly, they're probably right.

You should read some of the LoveFilm reviews for Tyrannosaur: "If you like dogs being kicked to death then watch this film. Otherwise, don't!"
tommycoopersghost on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to thin bob:
A teacher on radio was saying just that. Its ok to have a debate about censorship, but the reality is kids are banding it about the playground today and when pulled up about it, point out well its on tv.

There lies the real damage. Not a censorship debate, but a moral one over is it acceptable to make children from ethnic minorities feel ridiculed, or even unwelcome and threatened.
alan1961 - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay: Lets re run 'Love Thy Neighbour'
Ridge - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to alan1961:
> (In reply to moraldecay) Lets re run 'Love Thy Neighbour'

Now that's an interesting one. 'Love thy Neighbour' is usually held up as an example of racist comedy, and IIRC the term 'nig-nog' was heavily banded about. However, my recollections of the series from when I was a kid was that every episode ended up with the half-wit racist being thwarted and humiliated by both the far more likeable black couple and the racist's far more sensible and long suffering wife.
tommycoopersghost on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to alan1961:

No, lets not.

It was shit then, and it'd be even shitter now.
digby - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

I'm not aware of this instance but listening to Radio 4 extra there are some very old radio broadcasts that use very racist (by today's standards) terms. They sound shocking and should be edited out. They just aren't acceptable now.
Ridge - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to digby:
> (In reply to moraldecay)
>
> .. there are some very old radio broadcasts that use very racist (by today's standards) terms. They sound shocking and should be edited out. They just aren't acceptable now.

Should they not be regarded as a historical artifact that reflects the prevailing attitudes of the time? Literary works such as 'To Kill a Mockingbird' contain some extremely racist elements, should they be edited out?

I understand the sentiment, but that's getting very close to revisionism, (if that's a word), and denying that pervasive racism existed.
tommycoopersghost on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to digby)
> [...]
> I understand the sentiment, but that's getting very close to revisionism, (if that's a word), and denying that pervasive racism existed.

The problem is pervasive racism still exists. Black youth still more than likely to be stopped and searched. High black prison population pro rata. Low university attendance pro rata. Well documented housing and employment inequality.
ThunderCat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

It does still exist, but is it as widespread and accepted? I remember things when I was much younger in a small mining village in the north east - the corner shop was owned by an asian family and was 'the Pakis', the chinese takeaway was 'the chinkys', a black guy was a 'darky', or a 'chocolate drop' (For some reason the 'N' word just wasn't in popular usage)

And the terms were used by everyone without any sense of embarrassment, and you would probably have been looked at oddly if you tried to suggest that those terms were a little bit offensive and out of order.

But it's simply not like that anymore. It's tends to be the old folks back there that still use them.

I think we've moved on a little bit in the right direction - maybe airbrushing some of these comments out of old shows will give future generations the wrong impression that things were always as they are now.

Hope that makes sense.
stroppygob - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay: Left wing historical revisionism, what utter claptrap!

Bowdlerisation of the worse kind.

A whole generation of kids grew up with Fawlty, Love thy Neighbour, Curry and Chips, the Black and White Minstrels, did we turn out racist? Some did, some didn't.

That's the trouble with the left, they want to do everyone thinking, choices, and ability to discriminate for them.
Timmd on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:Your point of view is a valid one, as everybody's is, but I can remember Lenny Henry saying that whenever Jim Davidson had been on Tv the night before, when he went to school the next day the other white kids in the playground had new names to call him having watched Davidson the night before, it can't have been nice for a school kid to go through.

Where would you draw the line?
tommycoopersghost on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

> Bowdlerisation of the worse kind.

A tad obtuse outmoded turn of phrase.

> A whole generation of kids grew up with Fawlty, Love thy Neighbour, Curry and Chips, the Black and White Minstrels, did we turn out racist? Some did, some didn't.

Curry and chips is a food enjoyed by many ethnicithies, unlike the entirely racist black and white minstrel show.

Did we turn out racist? I regularly hear people still casually talk about the paki shop, the chinky, etc.
Black young people in UK 6 times more likely to be pulled on sus than whites. Stephen Lawrence's brother has been stop and searched something like 20 odd times in last 2 years. He hasn't even got a littering conviction. Housing, education, and employment disparities. Yes, id say this society is still highly institutionally racist.

> That's the trouble with the left, they want to do everyone thinking, choices, and ability to discriminate for them.

I don't recall saying i was left wing. That's a presumption you've made on one opinion. Mind you, when the Tories tried to put up a black candidate in cheltenham, the local party revolted.
Tom V - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

How old are you?
tommycoopersghost on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Tom V:

old enough to have seen all this tv first time round.
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tommycoopersghost on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

For the record. I still thoroughly enjoy farty owls. Its still one of my favourite comedies. Im capable of cultural filtering, as are most people. I am merely interested in the Jim Davidson playground effect mentioned by timmd above, and if its ok in a modern context. Is playground insecurity for minorities an acceptable price to pay for tv programs? Because that's the reality, as a teacher was pointing out on a radio interview today.

Still love blazing saddles too.

stroppygob - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> A tad obtuse outmoded turn of phrase.

not at all; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bowdler

The verb bowdlerise (or bowdlerize), has associated his name with the censorship not only of literature but also of motion pictures and television programmes.


> Curry and chips is a food enjoyed by many ethnicithies[sic],

Try to find out what you are talking about eh?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry_and_Chips

> unlike the entirely racist black and white minstrel show.

There was nothing racist about the show.
>
> Did we turn out racist? I regularly hear people still casually talk about the paki shop, the chinky, etc.

Yes, and?


> Black young people in UK 6 times more likely to be pulled on sus than whites. Stephen Lawrence's brother has been stop and searched something like 20 odd times in last 2 years. He hasn't even got a littering conviction. Housing, education, and employment disparities. Yes, id say this society is still highly institutionally racist.

Mainly due to people like you creating racism to justify your own prejudices.

> I don't recall saying i was left wing. That's a presumption you've made on one opinion. Mind you, when the Tories tried to put up a black candidate in cheltenham, the local party revolted.



A fine example of what I mean by people like you creating racism. Let's look at the truth.

John Taylor stood unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in the 1992 general election in Cheltenham, losing to the Liberal Democrats in a campaign portrayed by outsiders as having been influenced by the issue of race, with Taylor's West Indian background causing concern to some members of the local Conservative party. Taylor was made a life peer as Baron Taylor of Warwick, of Warwick in the County of Warwickshire in 1996; he was the first black Conservative peer. He was also Chancellor of Bournemouth University.

So the Lib Dems tried to create a racist furore, due to some Conservatives objecting to his candidacy.


tommycoopersghost on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

Bowdlerise is obtuse.

You don't see anything wrong with calling shops by the derogatory term for the race of the people who run them!? Which are usually wrong as well.

You don't think the black and white minstrels are racist?

I lived in cheltenham in 92. When they put Taylor up, there were walk outs and resignations from the local Tory party galore, and a boycott campaign because he was black. They stood him because they thought it would it would give them credibility with ethnic minorities. It back fired. I lived there, it was a huge racist furore in the town. You are re-writing history.

Less than 30 before that, the Tories ran an election campaign with the slogan 'if you want a nigger for a neighbour vote labour'

How on earth did i create racism. Its existed long long time before me. And today i am not the racist police and other intuitions that govern this country. As i said at the beginning. I don't feel fully qualified to comment too much as i haven't consulted ethnic minority groups on the issue. I used to work consulting with groups on social issues, including west Indian community groups. They certainly felt racism was in the media affected them.

People like me create racism? You're having a laugh!



graeme jackson - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:
> You don't think the black and white minstrels are racist?
>

Difficult one. Does blacking up to perform some songs constitute racism? We were pretty much stuck with watching this (only 2 other channels) and I don't recall it as being overtly racist... just shit.
danm - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:

It's probably quite difficult for either you, or I (assuming you are a white male like myself), to judge whether the Black & White Minstrel Show was racist or not. It's not like we were the butt of any intended joke.

My childhood memory includes marches by the National Front, older boys at school going out "Paki Bashing" and a general acceptance of casual and directive rascism. After getting into a fight with a black lad at school after I racially abused him, I got up from where he'd punched me and feebly apologised. At which point the victorious expression on his face dropped, and a look I'll never forget appeared, as he said at least I'd had the balls to say it to his face. At this point I had the realisation that he lived every day knowing that almost everyone around him despised him purely on the basis of his skin colour. We were both aged 12.

Given that, a little selective editing of an old TV show seems like small beer as far as I'm concerned.
graeme jackson - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to danm:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
>
> It's probably quite difficult for either you, or I (assuming you are a white male like myself), to judge whether the Black & White Minstrel Show was racist or not. It's not like we were the butt of any intended joke.
>

that's probably the most intelligent comment on this thread so far. It is indeed up to the recipient to decide for himself whether he (or she) has been racially abused. In fact the same can be applied to all 'minority' groups, many of whom have frequently stated that they don't need to be handled with the kid gloves that society feels they need.
winhill - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to danm)
> [It's probably quite difficult for either you, or I (assuming you are a white male like myself), to judge whether the Black & White Minstrel Show was racist or not. It's not like we were the butt of any intended joke.]
>
> that's probably the most intelligent comment on this thread so far. It is indeed up to the recipient to decide for himself whether he (or she) has been racially abused. In fact the same can be applied to all 'minority' groups, many of whom have frequently stated that they don't need to be handled with the kid gloves that society feels they need.

I would have thought it was a bizarre comment, that people really can't tell what racism is.

Have you seen the story floating about today/yesterday about Lego denying their Jabba The Hutt toy is racist? An obscure group of Austrian Turks has complained of racism:

The Lego racism claims come from the Turkish Cultural Community (TCC) of Austria, which railed against the company for a set it feels is offensive.

The group says Jabba's Palace is rife with negative and one-dimensional stereotypes, and the TCC outlined the reasons in a statement on their website:

“The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed."

"It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.”

Alleging blatant Lego racism, the group says this threatens “peaceful coexistence of different cultures in Europe" and urges parents “not to buy toys of war or toys of discrimination."

Specifically, the TCC says Jabba's Palace appears to closely resemble the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut.

It therefore reinforces negative stereotypes about the Middle East, the group says. The statement threatens legal action if Lego does not withdraw the toys.


Sometimes we can dismiss claims as trivial no matter what a supposedly aggrieved group alleges.
coinneach - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

I've been re reading Spike Milligan's war memoirs recently and although I don't recall being offended by some of his comments originally ( going on thirty years ago ) some of the passages do make me feel a bit uncomfortable.

Maybe a sign that perceptions have changed significantly over the years.

The subject of the OP around the wog/ nigger scenario I read in a George McDonald Fraser short story long before I saw Fawlty Towers.
ThunderCat - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>

> Have you seen the story floating about today/yesterday about Lego denying their Jabba The Hutt toy is racist? An obscure group of Austrian Turks has complained of racism:
>

When I first read that story, I thought I'd gone onto the Daily Mash by mistake.
stroppygob - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> Bowdlerise is obtuse.

How did I both you and know the meaning of it?

You obviously don't understand the meaning of the word "obtuse" either, luckily I got your drift.

obtuse
1. not quick or alert in perception, feeling, or intellect; not sensitive or observant; dull.
2. not sharp, acute, or pointed; blunt in form.
3. (of a leaf, petal, etc.) rounded at the extremity.
4. indistinctly felt or perceived, as pain or sound.




> You don't see anything wrong with calling shops by the derogatory term for the race of the people who run them!? Which are usually wrong as well.

I do not see anything wrong with having a nickname for a shop, as long as that nick-name is not meant offensively. If the shop is owned by Scots would it be offensive to call it "Jocky's shop"? A Welsh shop a "Taff shop"?


> You don't think the black and white minstrels are racist?

No they are not, people may perceive or try to portray them as racist, people who need to stir up division and hate, like yourself.

Do you know what "racism" actually means by the way?

rac•ism/
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.


Now explain to me why you think the Minstrel shows were racist? Or shall we just take it that you are trying to stir up race hate by dragging up a show which ended in 1978, 35 years ago.


> I lived in cheltenham in 92. When they put Taylor up, there were walk outs and resignations from the local Tory party galore, and a boycott campaign because he was black. They stood him because they thought it would it would give them credibility with ethnic minorities. It back fired. I lived there, it was a huge racist furore in the town. You are re-writing history.

No, you are dragging up a minor event, which happened 20 + years ago, and was dealt with, and rightly caused outrage amongst people of good nature, in order to foster race hate.

> Less than 30 before that, the Tories ran an election campaign with the slogan 'if you want a nigger for a neighbour vote labour'

Fifty f*ck*ng" years ago you go to now to try to get division and dissent amongst people, you really are the worse form of racist.


> How on earth did i create racism. Its existed long long time before me. And today i am not the racist police and other intuitions that govern this country.

ROTFLMFFAO!!!!

So you do not realise how, buy raising ancient injustices, calling a nations police force and other institutions "racist" (bit of a broad brush there,) and stirring up race division by harping on about mores and ethos from fifty f*ck*ng years ago, you may be perceived as racist?

> As i said at the beginning. I don't feel fully qualified to comment too much as i haven't consulted ethnic minority groups on the issue. I used to work consulting with groups on social issues, including west Indian community groups. They certainly felt racism was in the media affected them.

Perfect racism. You do not feel qualified to comment, as you haven't contacted some randomly chosen ethnic minorities to get their views. Hmmmm.... isn't one of the more profound aspects of racism a belief that one groups views are paramount?


> People like me create racism? You're having a laugh!

No I'm not, if anything you sadden me. You are a perfect example of the unthinking left, who have latched onto the racism industry to assuage your own white middle-class angst, and who create and foster racism, by celebrating racial division, and fostering racial divides.

There endeth this lesson.
stroppygob - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to moraldecay:

> In a curious twist, though, other culturally insensitive jokes in the episode - such as Basil Fawlty goose-stepping in front of the German tourists, saying ''sieg heil'' while using a finger to simulate the moustache of German dictator Adolf Hitler and referring to a German tourist as ''a stupid Kraut'' - were not cut.

Of course not!! It's only "culturally insensitive" if it's aimed at people of colour.

> In the context of the episode, the line is clearly intended to mock the old-school British upper class for their inherent racism. In that sense, the joke is on Major Gowen, as it were, and not aimed at racial minorities.

Yes, but it uses the words "w0gs" and "n!gger", so even if it's taking the p!ss out of the old white guy, still; "ooohhoo!!! racism !! Racismmm!! Racism!!!!!!" scream the unthinking lefty brigade.~




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