BBC receives 266 complaints over Vicar of Dibley

BBC receives 266 complaints over Vicar of Dibley

The BBC has received 266 complaints about a scene in The Vicar Of Dibley, referencing the Black Lives Matter movement.

In last week’s Christmas episode, Dawn French’s character, Reverend Geraldine Granger, took the knee and delivered a sermon about racism.

The corporation has previously defended the sitcom scene.

It said in a statement it “was in keeping with the character and the theme of the show”.

French’s character is shown being filmed by parishioner and farmer Owen Newitt as she tells the audience she has been preoccupied with the “horror show” of the death of George Floyd, who died while in US police custody.

Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed in May while being arrested by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking anti-racism protests around the world.

In the scene, the vicar noted that Dibley, the fictional Oxfordshire village, is “not the most diverse community”, and encouraged its residents to get behind the anti-racism campaign, which gained pace around the real world following Mr Floyd’s death.

Some viewers of the episode criticised it on social media.

“A lovely calm day, full of humanity, compassion and support all round…” responded French, at the time on Twitter.

The comic actor later clarified in the comments that she was being “a tad ironic”.

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