The Royle Family gets 'discriminatory language' warning

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 14 January 2021
Ricky Tomlinson

Ricky Tomlinson

'The Royle Family' has been slapped with a "disciminatory language" warning on the BBC iPlayer

'The Royle Family' has been given a "discriminatory language" warning on the BBC iPlayer.

The beloved hit comedy – which ran from 1998 to 2012 – features Ricky Tomlinson's couch potato character Jim Royle delivering old fashioned insults, which the broadcaster has decided to bring to viewers' attention.

In series two, episode three, he calls 'Changing Rooms' host Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a "nancy boy".

The description for the ep – which has still been made available on iPlayer – warns: "Contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive."

The note comes after warnings were also placed on 'Allo Allo!', 'Fawlty Towers' and 'Dad's Army'.

As quoted by The Sun newspaper, the BBC said: "Older programmes contain language that some viewers find offensive, inappropriate or which have now fallen out of use.

“For that reason, we do make that clear on iPlayer and elsewhere.”

However, not everyone is happy with the decision, with some being critical of the warning label even though the episode remains unedited.

Robin Aitken – a BBC worker for 25 years – ranted: "More wokeness. Combing archives to ensure shows are politically correct is sinister and laughable."

And a viewer tweeted: "Just another nail in the coffin of this ridiculous broadcaster."

Meanwhile, Idris Elba previously urged streaming platforms and TV channels not to censor or delete old TV shows, but instead run a content warning.

He said: "To mock the truth, you have to know the truth. But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it ... I think viewers should know that people made shows like this.

"Commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you.

"But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they're getting into."

As well as suggesting content warnings before offending episodes, Idris – who didn't refer to a specific show – called for artists to be allowed the freedom to create.

He explained: "I don't believe in censorship. I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we're story-makers."

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