Four Of Chris Lilley’s Blackface-Heavy Shows Were Just Axed From The Netflix Library

Netflix has booted four of Chris Lilley‘s shows from its streaming platform, capping off years of criticism levelled at the Australian comedian and his prodigious use of blackface and brownface.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, and Jonah From Tonga have all been scratched from the service.

The series depict Lilley portraying characters like Ricky Wong, a Chinese student; S.Mouse, an African-American rapper; and the eponymous Jonah Takalua, a Tongan high schooler.

Lilley’s other shows, Ja’mie Private School Girl and Lunatics, remain on the streaming service.

via Netflix

Despite their popularity in Australia, the binned shows, which first aired on local TV between 2005 and 2014, have faced intense criticism for years.

In 2017, Lilley was condemned for re-sharing the music video for the song Squashed N***a, featuring his character S.Mouse.

Lilley’s post came just days after a man was cleared of manslaughter after he ran over and killed 14-year-old Indigenous boy Elijah Doughty. 

At time of writing, a post pinned to Lilley’s Twitter account encourages fans to vote for a separate S.Mouse song in February’s Hottest 100 of the Decade list.

The post features a cartoon representing Lilley in blackface.

In 2018, Netflix said there were “no plans for Chris to play characters of different races” in his latest show, Lunatics.

Regardless, it was also criticised for his depiction of a South African woman.

Netflix’s decision comes during a new public reckoning with racism and racial injustice, sparked by local protests drawing attention to Indigenous deaths in custody, and a global focus on the death of US man George Floyd.