Fury as Vicar of Dibley next to be slapped with ‘offensive language’ warning ‘More wokery’

Vicar of Dibley: Geraldine addresses Black Lives Matter

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The comedy series first aired in 1994 and became an instant hit with tons of fans across the country. Vicar of Dibley followed Geraldine Granger (played by Dawn French) as she became the first woman to be assigned a Vicar in the Oxfordshire village. The British classic was the latest series to be labelled slapped with an offensive language warning about “discriminatory language” on BBC’s streaming platform. After seeing it, fans took to social media to air their frustrations about the label and defended the series’ humour.

Vicar of Dibley series aired until its final episode in 2000 and then intermittently between 2004 – 2020.

More recently, modern shows now contain a warning label if a series mentions offensive language, sexual assault or self-harm.

Throughout the series, a majority of the “offensive language” came from farmer Owen Newitt who was played by the late Roger Lloyd Pack.

The series was loved for ending every episode with the Vicar sharing a rude joke with Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers) – who never understood it.

The BBC defended their decision and a spokesperson told The Scottish Sun: “Even much-loved shows can occasionally contain language that some people have an issue with and it’s standard industry practice to offer viewers guidance on that.”

However, this wasn’t the first time viewers complained about the series, in 2020 fans were upset when an episode shone a light on the Black Lives Matter movement.

After the murder of George Floyd, the sitcom saw the Vicar give a speech about racism and take the knee.

Fans took to social media and claimed the episode’s writer Richard Curtis was using the episode to push a “woke” agenda.

The BBC received over 200 complaints about the episode, which the network and star Dawn French both dismissed.

Taking to social media, many fans wrote about their disappointment about the offensive language warning.

One wrote: “It’s a sad day when #BBCIplayer puts up a ‘this programme contains language which some people may find offensive’ warning at the front of most episodes of #vicarofdibley, ridiculous.

“The world has gone stark raving bonkers,” another commented.

One angry fan shared: “Absolutely pathetic – we cannot rewrite history and nor should we try, artistic license should be respected in all cases.

Another added: “I can’t begin to imagine what’s remotely offensive about it.”

The Vicar of Dibley wasn’t the first British classic to be hit with the same warning labels.

1975’s Faulty Tower was also labelled with an “offensive language” warning.

Little Britain was completely removed from BBC iPlayer for being offensive, with racist characters, perpetuating stereotypes and ableism.

Although the removal of the series was received with backlash, stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams both apologised for their parts in Little Britain.

Since its first finale, the Vicar of Dibley has made an onscreen appearance on several occasions, most famously for the show’s 10th and 20th anniversaries as well as for Comic Relief.

The Vicar of Dibley season 1-3 is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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