Rory Bremner has defended his use of blackface in past comedy sketches – arguing that he used expensive make-up and had high production values on his shows.
The 59-year-old comedian may need a crash course in diversity training as he appeared to ignore any hint of responsibility for past sketches where he dressed as TV chef Ainsley Harriott and news reading legend Sir Trevor McDonald.
Rory has enjoyed a decades-long career with shows including the self titled Rory Bremner on the BBC in the late 1980s and Channel 4’s Rory Bremner, Who Else?
While many comedians – including Little Britain stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas – have expressed regret over using blackface in past sketches, Rory has stood firm over his own decisions.
“They’re saying: ‘Ooh, When are they gonna ask Rory about his Ainsley impression? Are they gonna ask Rory about his Trevor McDonald impression?’
“I’m thinking: ‘Well, I treated them with the same respect, or lack of respect, as all the other characters.’
“We’re not talking The Black & White Minstrel Show here, we’re talking a show which has high and quite expensive make-up and production values and it’s about looking like the character.”
Over the past two months there has been a public backlash over past blackface sketches and performances in light of racial equality protests around the world sparked by the death of American citizen George Floyd.
David Walliams and Matt Lucas offered apologies for using blackface make-up in sketches they performed in their hit BBC shows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me.
Matt tweeted last month: “David and I have both spoken publicly in recent years of our regret that we played characters of other races.
“Once again we want to make it clear that it was wrong and we are very sorry.”
While in the USA, actors including Mike Henry and Kristen Bell have stepped down from voicing animated characters of other races.