THE BBC has hit back at the Jamaican foreign minister for branding the comedy Famalam ‘outrageous and offensive.’
The broadcasting giant shared a first look at the show last week, which included its own version of the popular Channel 4 daytime show Countdown.
The corporation has leapt to the defence of their show and BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning Shane Allen has told people not to ‘dis’ his ‘beloved Famalam.’
He appeared at the virtual Edinburgh TV film festival and said: “To be relevant and finger on the pulse is where we want to be.
“If you’re going to do something about tricky topics it needs to be from those communities or from those people who’ve got that voice.”
The company continued to defend the sketch show as BBC Three controller Fiona Campbell added: “Famalam’s now in its third series it’s very successful creators have had some Bafta wins for them.
“It’s not malicious humour and I think if you followed on social the creators said they’re poking fun at all stereotypes, there isn’t malice in the type of content.
“The minister has the right to make the complaint; I think they made the comments before the whole series had been released but we stand by the creators’ brand of humor.”
Meanwhile, a BBC spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: “Famalam is an award nominated sketch comedy series starring some of the UK’s best black comedy talent, which explores aspects of contemporary life from a black perspective.
“Now in its third series, the show has an established brand of humour which is in line with audience expectations and is well known for challenging stereotypes and confronting issues.”
The comments came on the back of Jamaica’s foreign minister Kamina Johnson-Smith criticising the show’s portrayal of Jamaican culture.
She wrote: “This is outrageous and offensive to the incredible country which I am proud to represent along with every Jamaican at home and within our #[email protected]@bbcworld.
“I will immediately be writing formally on this! #StopThisShow.”
Her comments were in response to Nathaniel Peat’s tweet, who was also unhappy with the programme.
He said: “As the Global Jamaica Diaspora Counsel Rep for South UK @bbcthree the Jamaican community in the UK have expressed serious concerns at how offensive the content in this show is.
“This doesn’t reflect our culture well Nd many are upset. @Ofcom @kaminajsmith @mfaftja.”