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Fawlty Towers Should We Rewrite History

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Showing 1-25 of 58 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jan 2013 21:07:36 GMT
Mairi D. says:
Reminiscent of 1984, the BBC have decided out to edit out the blatantly racist remarks of the major in an episode of Fawlty Towers. Do you think the episode should never be shown; should it be shown unedited; or should it shown unedited but with an explanation that the satirical highlighting of such views helps to lead to their eradication.
In general, should literary texts remain in their original form or should they be altered to reflect the current pc views on society. Can and should we rewrite the past in an attempt to create the present we want?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2013 22:15:01 GMT
gille liath says:
I'm struggling to think what they could be. The only blatant racism in FT, really, is the Irish builders episode - but I can't imagine that's what you're referring to. The Major makes some remarks about cricket teams, but we're laughing at, not with. I think it's a bit silly to make a fuss about something like that.

Posted on 28 Jan 2013 22:30:07 GMT
Mairi D. says:
The major talks about the difference between w__s and n_____ s. I think the worry is that some people might not understand that it is the mayor who, for his racist views,who is being ridiculed. Is it fairer to people who are black not to hear such racist language on screen or is it unfair to pretend that such terms were not used freely by supposedly middle. class, intelligent people?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2013 23:02:56 GMT
gille liath says:
Well, i presume your opnion is evident from the OP. :)

As I say, the irony is that it's apparently still okay to stereotype the Irish - as long as no PC-verboten words are being used.

And in answer to your question there: is it the job of TV to be infallibly fair to everyone? Because that's an impossible job. Although of course I wouldn't want those words to be used in any programme made today, whatever the context, i do wish the Beeb would worry less about its pet social engineering projects, and more about the fact it hasn't made a programme as good as Fawlty for thirty years.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 04:19:18 GMT
Roma...the words should be left in...this is exactly how Nazi Germany started...

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 06:51:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jan 2013 06:51:46 GMT
easytiger says:
Silly boy. The first act of a repressive regime is to issue a list of words that are 'verboten'. PC censorship is part of the creeping regime already upon us. This type of thing insults the intelligence of black people. Don't you think they'll know it was made 30yrs ago? The only people that would take offence would be white liberals and the hawks at what used to be the CRE who perch on their executive chairs with their fat wallets looking for anything that could be percieved as racism to justify their existence. Leave things as they are and don't insult real people's intelligence. And in the current climate of Saville etc, what gives the b8stards at the BBC the right to be our moral guardians?

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 07:48:45 GMT
If they felt they HAD to do something, then I think it would be better to just whack a disclaimer at the start of the episode like Warner Bros. did with Tom & Jerry. The whole 'views expressed herein are a product of the time and do not represent current attitudes to those involved' or similar.

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 09:22:17 GMT
How many people now read Bowdler's 'The Family Shakespeare'?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 09:28:25 GMT
Manuel was referred to as a 'D--o', 'Da-o birdbrain...', or a '-ago dodo'. Most distressing for liberal viewers!

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 09:37:53 GMT
J. Forbes says:
The BBC lost its way many years ago. Now they have lost confidence, too.

If they continue in this vein, there will soon be nothing left in the archives, because once you start "sanitising", where do you stop?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 10:48:31 GMT
Mairi D. says:
Helen true but how many people would understand bowdlerised or original version? I think the difference is B s aim was to restore a fairer justice system, so the good survived. Can you imagine attempts to airbrush racism? Othello white? Shylock a Christian?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 10:53:43 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Sadly, Roma, yes.

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 11:04:56 GMT
Mairi D. says:
A few years ago I went to a viewing of a Tartan Short, which ended with a question and answer session by the maker of the film.It was called The Tallyman and featured a funny Englishman who went round doors selling clothes and household goods on a kind of higher purchase scheme, usually to find that once they had purchased the items, the people were never at home to pay the bill. It seemed strange as I had always thought TM were Asian gentlemen who had recently immigrated to Britain. When questioned about this his reply was, "Having him English is as far as I can go without being accused of being racist." Bizarre

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 11:07:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jan 2013 11:13:56 GMT
Xophe says:
"this is exactly how Nazi Germany started.." Yeah kinda. Right-wing bigots foaming at the mouth because of Weimar liberalism. Good comparison.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 11:40:39 GMT
Spin says:
Roma: Murdoch plc has apologised for a cartoon by Scarfe in the Times which has been accused of "Anti-semitism". It seems that even humour is being censored in our so-called "free society".

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 11:44:22 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Murdoch has so much apologising to do, and he apologises for that.

Crazy world.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 11:49:24 GMT
G. Heron says:

I think Murdoch was wrong to apologize, the target of the cartoon was Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who I would suggest as a prime minister is fair game for political cartoonists. To label an attack on either the Israeli PM or Israeli politics as anti-semitism is a cop-out.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 11:53:29 GMT
TomC says:
No, Nazi Germany started because hotel guests got together to complain about the poor food, the inadequacy of the accommodation and the rudeness of the management.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 11:56:02 GMT
Spin says:
J; Well, political cartoons are not called "political cartoons" for nothing. If a political cartoon cannot be political, we will see the return of a politically correct "Andy Capp" or those god-awful psuedo-cartoons, drawn in the realism-style, concerning love and relationships...=) Political cartons make a statement. To forbid them is to forbid political expression. If the cartoon showed Osama bin Laden piling corpses, nothing would said. But because it was a dig at the Jewish government, not the jewish people as claimed, it is considered "anti-semitic". Nonsense. PC gone mad.

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 12:05:20 GMT
Dan Fante says:
It's odd how Murdoch has become more of a public figure via his Twitter account of late. A while back and I don't think he would have gotten involved. Not publicly or directly anyway. Especially since the paper has already defended the cartoon. As J. Forbes points out, it's ironic he should find this worthy of a public apology.
I also agree with the comments that the cartoon was fair enough since it was aimed at the Israeli PM, rather than all Jews.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 13:07:46 GMT
Silly little comment is taken from Fawlty Towers...

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 13:14:39 GMT was people poking their noses in to other people's business.

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 13:17:47 GMT
Spin says:
The influence of politics upon our freedoms is quite concerning. We are all living a stilted life; watching what we do and say, ensuring we do not "offend" anyone, living according to the states recommendations...Did we not fight a World War to stop such things?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 13:26:06 GMT
Did you....where were you stationed?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 14:26:04 GMT
gille liath says:
True but, as with the Major, I don't think we're meant to agree. Manuel is the only completely sympathetic character in it.
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  58
Initial post:  28 Jan 2013
Latest post:  31 Jan 2013

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