Actor Chris Lilley as Jonah.
Actor Chris Lilley as Jonah.

Chris Lilley’s shows pulled from Netflix

Netflix has sensationally removed four popular Chris Lilley shows from its platform.

The award-winning Australian comedian portrayed several racially diverse characters in his various series', with We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys and Jonah From Tonga ripped from the streaming service.

Netflix and Lilley are yet to comment.

It comes amid global outcry over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police, in an incident that has sparked a fierce debate about racism.

Lilley's most renowned series Summer Heights High, which first aired in 2007, features the character Jonah Takalua, a schoolboy from Tonga, in which the actor used brownface.

In Angry Boys, which aired in 2011, Lilley used blackface to portray rapper S.Mouse.

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Chris Lilley as S.Mouse in Angry Boys.
Chris Lilley as S.Mouse in Angry Boys.

His first show released in 2005, We Can Be Heroes, saw Lilley play Chinese physics student Ricky Wong, among a host of other characters vying for Australian of the Year.

It earned Lilley a Logie award for Best New Talent. He went on to win Most Popular Actor for Summer Heights High in 2008, which also won Most Outstanding Comedy Program.

His most recent show Lunatics, released last year, is still available on Netflix.

The move is not a huge surprise with Lilley, 45, coming under fire for the characters in the past.

Lilley as Ricky Wong in We Can Be Heroes.
Lilley as Ricky Wong in We Can Be Heroes.

Addressing the backlash he had received about the character of S.mouse in a 2011 interview with Vulture, Lilley said he believed "only certain races" proved an issue.

"I wanted to do it because I thought it was a challenging, new, interesting idea, and mostly I just thought it was a really funny character," Lilley said.

Lilley won two Logies for Summer Heights High at the 2008 Logie Awards.
Lilley won two Logies for Summer Heights High at the 2008 Logie Awards.

 

"The funny thing is, I played a Chinese student in We Can Be Heroes, I played a Tongan boy in Summer Heights High, and I play a Japanese woman also in Angry Boys, but the only one that people talk about is S.Mouse.

"It's kind of funny that there's only certain races that it's an issue - yes, it's that history with blackface - but, I don't know.

"There's no comparison. I think it's a bit stupid that you would shut yourself off to being able to do that."

It comes after popular sketch comedy shows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me have been removed from several streaming services overseas after controversy over the use of blackface characters.

The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentlemen have also been pulled from Netflix over the use of blackface.

New American streaming service HBO Max has temporarily pulled one of the most cherished films of all time, Gone With the Wind, over "racist depictions".

Originally published as Chris Lilley's shows pulled from Netflix

Jonah in Summer Heighs High.
Jonah in Summer Heighs High.

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