TV

BBC airs ‘inappropriate’ Fawlty Towers episode after removing racist slurs

BBC viewers were stunned on Monday evening as an episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcasted with an "inappropriate" Nazi scene.

The episode titled The Germans, which originally aired in 1975, shows hotel owner Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) whispering "Don't mention the war" and goose-stepping in front of German guests.

It also originally included racist language used by Major Gowen (Ballard Blascheck) , but the slurs were removed from the comedy back in 2013.

The controversial scene saw the character using offensive racial slurs when speaking about the West Indies cricket team, which included the use of the N-word.

Viewers rushed to their keyboards to question why an episode of the BBC sitcom was repeated after EastEnders last night on BBC One.

Taking to Twitter, one fan penned: "What was the reason #bbc showed #fawltytowers last night? It was pointless, you would get the woke brigade complaining about it, and the other half would complain about the censorship. It was lose/lose."

Another added: "People who are moaning about the German faulty towers episode get a life , it’s called comedy, which makes us laugh, you lot would ban everything if you got the chance."

A third person posted: "I’m surprised the BBC showed as much of that episode of Fawlty Towers as they did. Although there were some cuts."

While a fourth social media user said: "Why is Fawlty Towers back on with is casual racism and misogyny?"

Fawlty Towers trended on the microblogging site due to the amount of conversation online.

A BBC spokesperson has since confirmed that the broadcaster was complying with both the broadcasting regulator and its own standards in cutting the exchange.

A statement read: "We are adhering to Ofcom’s language guidance and the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines and broadcasting the same, pre-watershed compliant version of the show which we broadcast in 2013."

Fawlty Towers star John Cleese previously slammed the "stupid" decision to remove an episode of the comedy show from UKTV's streaming service.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, the television star said the episode was clearly a critique of racist attitudes.

He said: "One of the things I've learned in the last 180 years is that people have very different senses of humour.

"Some of them understand that if you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of, you're not broadcasting their views, you're making fun of them."

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However, UKTV, which is owned by BBC Studios, later said the "don't mention the war" episode will return with some added guidance and warnings featuring alongside it

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