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Entertainment BBC admits Jack Whitehall 'dwarf joke' did not meet 'harm and offence' guidelines

01:10  27 november  2020
01:10  27 november  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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The BBC has upheld two complaints from viewers objecting to a recent routine by comedian Jack Whitehall , about the time he met a dwarf at a pop concert. The offending bit featured in his Live at the Apollo set on BBC Two. The corporation 's board of content concluded on Thursday that the material

Jimmy Carr’s joke about dwarves on BBC 1’s The One Show was offensive and broke broadcasting rules, the media watchdog has said. Although one of the presenters made an apology towards the end of the programme, we considered it was not sufficient to mitigate the offence caused by Mr Carr’s

Jack Whitehall wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Whitehall's routine did not meet the BBC's expected harm and offence guidelines © Getty Whitehall's routine did not meet the BBC's expected harm and offence guidelines

The BBC has upheld complaints from viewers objecting to a stand-up routine about a dwarf.

Two viewers complained after watching an episode of Live At The Apollo where comedian Jack Whitehall recounted a story about when he had been introduced to a dwarf at a pop concert.

The original routine had been broadcast in 2009 but was recently repeated, prompting the complaints.

And an investigation by the corporation's Executive Complaints Unit agreed the story had gone "beyond the expectations of audiences".

It did not meet BBC editorial guidelines on "harm and offence", it said.

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See Section 5 Harm and Offence : 5.3.15. On radio, we should provide content information when Our international news channels do not normally operate a watershed policy because the news is shown For a new series, where there is a risk that content may not meet generally accepted standards, there

Jack Whitehall . Photograph: Ollie Millington/Redferns. No 3D personality arises from these by-numbers jokes , nor any sense of an interest in people or the world. Environmentalism is lightly mocked; there’s a chirpy Auschwitz punchline and a routine about how to speak to people with a lazy eye.

The unit noted that while Whitehall was allowed to exaggerate stereotypes "for comic effect", it was not okay "to take a stereotypical view of dwarfism itself".

"We must be aware that audiences may find casual or purposeless stereotypes to be offensive," the ruling added.

It concluded that while viewers familiar with Jack Whitehall's "self-deprecating style of comedy" would have understood the routine had been intended primarily to "show up his own inadequacies and failings", it had gone too far.

a close up of Michael Whitehall wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Jack has appeared with his father Michael in the comedy documentary Travels With My Father © PA Jack has appeared with his father Michael in the comedy documentary Travels With My Father

The unit promised the routine would not be broadcast again.

Whitehall, 32, is a comedian, presenter and writer, best known for starring as JP in Fresh Meat and Alfie Wickers in the series Bad Education.

He was also a regular panellist on the game show A League Of Their Own and appeared with his father Michael in the Netflix comedy documentary series Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father.

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