Although he said he would not use blackface now, Enfield argued that there was a distinction between his previous material and earlier incarnations, such as the 1930s “Chocolate Colored Coon”, a term that Robinson apologized. Enfield also mentioned the “myth of the happy negro”.
Vidal, also an actor, said the blackface “normalizes dehumanization” and challenged Enfield for his decision to portray Mandela as a drug trafficker, rather than overturning black stereotypes.
The discussion comes after new conversations about race in the UK following the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed Black Lives Matter, and a week in which shows containing Blackface – including Little Britain and The Mighty Boosh – have been removed from UK streaming services. Ant and Dec also apologized on Wednesday for portraying black characters on their ITV Saturday Night Takeaway show, adding that they “deliberately stopped doing this many years ago and would certainly not be doing these sketches today.” ‘hui’.
Last week, Leigh Francis – better known as Keith Lemon – also issued an apology for portraying blacks on his program Bo ’Selecta, including Michael Jackson, Trisha Goddard and Craig David.