British comedian Matt Lucas, who is gay, has apologized for transphobic and blackface comedy that was prevalent in his sketch comedy series Little Britain, which aired on the BBC from 2003 to 2007. The actor, who’s starred in Dr. Who and Alice Through the Looking Glass as well as dozens of British comedies, said that the sketches he and Little Britain costar David Walliams performed on the show were “mean” and “cruel” and that he would take them back if he could.
“If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites,” Lucas told The Big Issue. “I wouldn’t play black characters. Basically, I wouldn’t make that show now. It would upset people.”
Lucas, who has been promoting his memoir Little Me (My Life From A-Z), and Walliams often donned dresses to play characters who called themselves “transvestites” and put on blackface to portray nonwhite characters.
“Society has moved on a lot since then, and my own views have evolved. There was no bad intent there — the only thing you could accuse us of was greed,” Lucas said. “We just wanted to show off about what a diverse bunch of people we could play.”