ENTERTAINMENT
11/06/2020 12:10 PM AEST | Updated 11/06/2020 4:12 PM AEST

Netflix Axes Chris Lilley's 'Jonah From Tonga' And Other Comedy Shows Featuring Blackface

The move follows the streaming giant's decision to pull "Little Britain" from its service.

Netflix has yanked four of Chris Lilley’s shows from its library including “Summer Heights High”, “Jonah From Tonga” and “Angry Boys” amid blackface backlash. 

The shows see Lilley in dark make-up playing characters including Tongan schoolboy Jonah, Black rapper S.mouse and Asian characters. 

His most recent comedy series, the Netflix original Lunatics, is still available to stream, despite controversy over one of the characters, Jana Melhoopen-Jonks.

Lilley has been accused of using blackface for the role – but a producer for the show has insisted that the character is “not a woman of colour”

Rapper Briggs has been calling Lilley out on his use of blackface for years and now wants Netflix to find more First Nations content. 

Last week, the streaming service took down “Little Britain” and “Come Fly With Me”, with the UK’s BBC iPlayer and BritBox following suit in recent days.

It’s now been revealed that Netflix has removed a number of other shows from its catalogue worldwide.  “The Mighty Boosh” has been pulled as the Spirit of Jazz character was a white actor wearing blackface. 

“The League Of Gentlemen” – in which Reece Shearsmith uses blackface make-up to play the character Papa Lazarou – has been pulled in the UK, a week before its intended expiry date of June 19.

BBC
The League Of Gentlemen

Canadian series “The Drunk And On Drugs Happy Funtime Hour”, which features two characters in blackface as well as an Asian character portrayed by a white actor, has also been pulled.

Netflix provided no further comment when contacted by HuffPost. 

While the BBC followed suit when it came to the removal of “Little Britain”, “The League Of Gentlemen” and many of Chris Lilley’s shows are still available to watch on BBC iPlayer at the time of writing.

A BBC rep told Metro: “The change only affects Little Britain. There’s a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer, which we regularly review.”

Don Arnold via Getty Images
Australian comedian Chris Lilley