Ofcom gets Enfield’s joke
An update on this story. The hundreds of complaints received – including one from government of the Philippines – about the Harry and Paul sketch which featured an upper-class toff trying to get his pet Northerner to mate with his neighbour’s Filippino maid fell on deaf ears at Ofcom, according to their monthly report (PDF).
Judged “not in breach”:
in Ofcom’s view, there was no intention to ridicule women or the Filipino community in this sketch. The target of the humour was very clearly the upper class character played by Harry Enfield who holds such a deluded view of his social superiority that he treats individuals with lower social status with ridiculous disdain. The Filipina domestic help was featured as a character in the sketch to highlight this extreme and ridiculous behaviour. [...]
Although this sketch may have caused offence to some individuals, it explored the issue of social class in an absurd way which was not intended to reflect real life. In our view this was the approach and effect of this sketch. On balance, it is Ofcom’s view that the material did not breach generally accepted standards because it was justified by the context.
It’s a shame when you have to explain a joke.