Ant and Dec apologized for a segment of Saturday Night Takeaway in which they impersonated people of other ethnicities using Blackface and said that they would not do such sketches today.
The presenters darkened their skin and wore prosthetics during a segment in which they joked famous faces in disguise. They said they asked ITV, which broadcasts the show, to remove the offending 2003 and 2004 sketches from its catch-up streaming service.
A statement on their Instagram and Twitter accounts said: “During the last episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway, we have stolen the identity of people of color in the Undercover segment of the series.
“We realize it was wrong and want to say that we are sincerely sorry for everyone we have offended.
“We deliberately stopped doing this several years ago and we certainly would not be doing these sketches today.
“We had already taken steps to ensure that the images were removed and we recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content that may be offensive, do not appear on the ITV hub or on the Saturday Night YouTube channel. Takeaway. “
The couple wore a black face in 2003 as they dressed up as two fictitious Jamaican women, Patty and Bernice, to prank cast members of Emmerdale. And in 2004, they dressed up as two Japanese girls, Suki and Keiko, using exaggerated makeup and accents.
It comes after Little Britain was removed from iPlayer and The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentlemen were removed from Netflix after the three were criticized for using blackface in some sketches.
Last week, comedian Leigh Francis apologized in tears for portraying black celebrities in the cartoon show Bo ’Selecta.
The recently launched service HBO Max deleted Gone with the Wind after criticizing the positive portrayal of slavery in the romance epic of the American Civil War, but confirmed that it would ultimately return to service with a “chat of its historical context and a denunciation of these same representations. “.
Black Lives Matter protests took place around the world after the death of the unarmed black man George Floyd in the United States after a police officer knelt on his neck, prompting further examination of the use of blackface in the media.