The BBC is drawing ire from all over the world for a sketch on one of its comedy programmes: The Real Housewives of ISIS, which is part of BBC 2's offering Revolting. Comparisons are already being drawn to another British sitcom from 1990 that re-imagined Adolf Hitler living the domestic life with Eva Braun.
What is the controversial sketch?
British humour is often seen as tongue-in-cheek, and poking fun at stereotypes. It was perhaps one such idea that blossomed into the sketch that is The Real Housewives of ISIS: poking fun at not only the American obsession with the Real Housewives reality shows as well as the Jihadi Jane stereotypes of British women being lured in by Islamic State group — also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Such women have reportedly been turned in to hostages for ransom, sex slaves or suicide bombers by ISIS, something that the sketch makes constant fun of, like the semtex-laden jackets that are worn by two women like fashion outfits. The sketch also makes fun of the conditions these women are forced to live in -- purportedly with ISIS members.
Why are comparisons being drawn?
People are seeing this spoof sketch as a step too far, where the humour is too dark or insensitive to the plight of the real women caught in the crossfire between ISIS and the security forces. The insensitivity is reminding them of the British sitcom Heil Honey I'm Home, which was cancelled after airing just one episode.
That spoof sitcom, whose sole episode aired in 1990, saw Hitler and Eva Braun living in Berlin in 1937 next door to a Jewish couple, and incorporated elements of typical American sitcoms within it. The one it drew most on seemed to be Lucille Ball's I Love Lucy, with both Hitler and Eva Braun speaking in American accent.
The sitcom had drawn flak from all over for primarily trivialising the World War II and the Holocaust, and being overall tasteless.
Do you think the Real Housewives of ISIS is as tasteless? See and judge for yourself: