Entertainment

Casualty is slapped with a warning to viewers that it contains ‘racist language and attitudes’

Streaming service Britbox has slapped veteran medical drama Casualty with a ‘racist’ warning.

The BBC series – which has aired since 1986 and is still in production – has been added to the Britbox catalogues, but it seems that several plots haven’t aged well.

According to The Sun, dozens of old episodes have had warnings added to them due to content involving black characters being abused racially.

Warning! Streaming service Britbox has slapped veteran medical drama Casualty with a ‘racist’ warning [pictured are stars Charles Venn and Jaye Griffiths in 2018]

Most episodes feature a warning that reads: ‘Contains emotional scenes and medical procedures.’

One in particular warns: ‘Contains emotional scenes and racist language and attitudes which may offend some viewers.’

A spokesman for BritBox told The Sun: ‘We review and refresh BritBox’s programme catalogue on an ongoing basis.

‘Programming on the service that contains potentially sensitive language or attitudes of their era has carried appropriate warnings since our launch in November 2019, to ensure the right guidance is in place for viewers who are choosing to watch on demand.’

The BBC series - which has aired since 1986 and is still in production - has been added to the Britbox catalogues, but it seems that several plots haven't aged well [pictured is Charles Venn in 2020]

The BBC series – which has aired since 1986 and is still in production – has been added to the Britbox catalogues, but it seems that several plots haven’t aged well [pictured is Charles Venn in 2020]

Long-running: Casualty has aired 1,200 episodes and 35 series. It is the longest-running medical drama series in the world [Patrick Robinson and Derek Thompson are pictured in 2013]

Long-running: Casualty has aired 1,200 episodes and 35 series. It is the longest-running medical drama series in the world [Patrick Robinson and Derek Thompson are pictured in 2013]

Casualty has aired 1,200 episodes and 35 series. It is the longest-running medical drama series in the world.

Writer Susan Wilkins saying in 2016 that the show aims to deliver an anti-racism message, while Derek Thompson, who portrays long-running character Charlie Fairhead, said in the same year: ‘From day one of filming Casualty in 1986, I’ve been so proud of its true to life storytelling, representing everything the NHS stands for.

‘I’ve been a part of a few anniversaries over the years, but this really feels like a significant moment in British television history.’

Casualty has spawned two spin-offs – the short-lived Holby Blue and Holby City, which is being cancelled in 2022 after 23 years on the air.

One episode in particular warns: 'Contains emotional scenes and racist language and attitudes which may offend some viewers'

One episode in particular warns: ‘Contains emotional scenes and racist language and attitudes which may offend some viewers’ 

Cast: Azuka Oforka and Tut Nyuot are pictured in a 2017 episode

Cast: Azuka Oforka and Tut Nyuot are pictured in a 2017 episode

The BBC announced this in June, branding it a ‘difficult decision’, slating the medical drama to come to a conclusion on screen in March next year.

The BBC said in a statement: ‘We are incredibly proud of Holby City.

‘But it’s with great sadness that we are announcing that after 23 years, the show will end on screen in March of next year.

‘We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC’s commitment to make more programmes across the UK.

‘We have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing team at BBC Studios and all the cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 1999.

End of the road: Holby City will conclude in 2022 after 23 years on the air, the BBC announced last month

End of the road: Holby City will conclude in 2022 after 23 years on the air, the BBC announced last month

It's been cut! The BBC insisted they will make sure the programme goes out 'on a high' [pictured Ramin Karimloo as Dr Kian Madani]

It’s been cut! The BBC insisted they will make sure the programme goes out ‘on a high’ [pictured Ramin Karimloo as Dr Kian Madani]

‘Holby has been a stalwart with audiences, delighting millions of viewers each week and winning hundreds of awards with a compelling mix of cutting-edge medical stories and explosive personal stories.’

The BBC insisted they will make sure the programme goes out ‘on a high’.

They added: ‘We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high.’

Many fans of the programme took to social media to express their disappointment at the show ending, with some questioning the reasoning behind the BBC’s decision. 

Premiere: The show - which airs weekly on BBC One - launched on January 12, 1999, as a spin-off from fellow BBC medical drama Casualty, which began in September 1986 [the original cast is pictured]

Premiere: The show – which airs weekly on BBC One – launched on January 12, 1999, as a spin-off from fellow BBC medical drama Casualty, which began in September 1986 [the original cast is pictured]

'Difficult decision': The network have slated the medical drama to come to a conclusion on screen in March next year [pictured is a cast shot from 1999]

‘Difficult decision’: The network have slated the medical drama to come to a conclusion on screen in March next year [pictured is a cast shot from 1999]

The show featured big names in British TV across its run, such as Phyllis Logan, Lisa Faulkner, Angela Griffin, Nicola Stephenson, and Michael French.

And the likes of Adrian Edmondson, Patsy Kensit, Jane Asher, Sheridan Smith, Phill Jupitus, Johnny Briggs, Suzanne Shaw, and Anita Dobson have also guest-starred in the show over the years. 

One devastated fan started an online petition to keep the show on air. The supporter, calling themselves Mr Holby, wrote: ‘The pandemic has shown how highly the public value the NHS, and Holby City is an important representation of the work that the NHS does, and the issues the NHS and its staff and patients face.’

The show – which airs weekly on BBC One – launched on January 12, 1999. 

Cast: The show featured big names in British TV, such as Angela Griffin

Former star: Lisa Faulkner starred as Dr Victoria Merrick in the original run

Cast: The show featured big names in British TV, such as Angela Griffin [L] and Lisa Faulkner [R]

Guest star: John Barrowman appeared on the show in 2020

Guest star: John Barrowman appeared on the show in 2020

Holby City exists in the same canon as Casualty, with the two series crossing over on occasion.

It was developed initially as lead writer Mal Young wanted to explore what happened to patients treated in Casualty once they were taken away to the hospital’s surgical wards. 

The BBC previously screened mini-dramas entitled [email protected] City, which saw various characters from the two shows interacting.

In 2006, the BBC commissioned Holby Blue, a police spin-off. There was a two-part crossover episode with Holby City in 2008.

But despite a promising initial viewership, Holby Blue only lasted two series and was axed.

Casualty airs on BBC One and is next on on Saturday at 9.35PM. Holby City airs on BBC One and is next on on Tuesday at 9.20PM. 


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