BBC Sparks Outrage After Airing Controversial 'Real Housewives of ISIS' Skit
The UK's BBC has come under fire from viewers after airing a comedy skit titled 'Real Housewives of ISIS' that featured women in hijabs modelling suicide vests and celebrating beheadings.
The skit was part of Revolting, a new sketch comedy show from the team behind the BAFTA-winning satire The Revolution Will Be Televised, which aired on the publicly-funded BBC2.
"It's only three days till the beheading, and I've got no idea what I'm going to wear," one character in the skit – a spoof of the never-ending Real Housewives series, which recently stretched to Melbourne and Sydney - says, while her friends Instagram photos of fashionable suicide vests using the hashtags "Death To The West" and "ISIS emojis".
Another scene depicts a woman chained to a kitchen stove by her husband.
A clip posted to BBC2's Facebook yesterday sparked over 50,000 comments, with many viewers labelling the skit as "insensitive" and "bad taste", and questioning the BBC's judgement.
"Not funny at all. With everything going on in the world, I'm sure those who have been affected by ISIS or the relatives of those killed in terrorist attacks won't be laughing," one commenter wrote.
"You are utterly abhorrent BBC. You are truly sick in the head and morally bankrupt," added another.
Others debated whether the satirical intent of the show's writers might've missed its mark.
"I enjoy decent satire like Four Lions, but this is a poor effort," another commenter wrote. "Not only does it mock the very real oppression suffered by women under the yoke of ISIS, it's also very badly written."
"People bang on about politically incorrect humour – this is brave and funny and about time we poked fun at these morons!" another countered.
In an interview with the UK's iNews last week, the show's creators, Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein, discussed their intent behind the skit.
"We feel there's an urgent need to speak out about these issues in 2017. It's a mixture of comedy and protest," Rubinstein said. "We want to spark a discussion so people get out of their bubble and go and actually do something about it."
"It's important not to pull your punches in satire. You have to be fearless or it undermines your credibility," Prowse added. "You can't go after David Cameron for five years like we did and not go after Islamic State."
The 'Housewives' skit is reportedly a recurring gag on the show, which airs on Tuesdays in the UK. The program is not currently slated to be aired in Australia.
Early last year, a Saturday Night Live skit attempting to poke fun at ISIS sparked similar outrage.
The skit, a spoof of a Toyota ad featuring 50 Shades of Grey's Dakota Johnson as a young woman who joins ISIS, was labelled "tasteless" by viewers.
Taran Killam, a former SNL cast member who also starred in the clip, later defended the skit on Twitter saying "Freedom to mock is our greatest weapon".