Midsomer Murders hit with racism warning as Morris Dancers wear black makeup

Telly censors have slapped a warning on Midsomer Murders over scenes of Morris Dancers with blacked-out faces.

Many troupes have now swapped their black make-up for blue or ditched it altogether after accusations of racism.

That’s despite claims that the tradition has nothing to do with race and derives from the 1400s when poor farm workers covered faces with soot to disguise themselves so they could beg, which was illegal at the time.

However, many insist race is a factor so censors at streaming service BritBox are telling viewers watching an episode called Blood Will Out from season two of the series “includes traditional dancing that might offend some viewers”.

One outraged fan of the ITV show, which starred John Nettles, 78, as detective Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby from 1997 to 2011, sneered: “There was a Morris Dancing scene about which viewers were forewarned (possibly because one of the dancers was in traditional blackface). Woke.”

Another fan said on telly forum Digital Spy: “I have watched Midsomer Murders from day dot and it’s not racist.”

And they claimed: “The blackface device is a throwback to times of poverty and has nothing to do with race.”

Another added: “Oh no. They’re gonna try and cancel John Nettles now,” while another fan warned: “No one cancels John Nettles.”

An episode called Blood on the Saddle about a Wild West day is also highlighted for racist content as a Confederate flag is seen.

BritBox tells would-be audience members: “The annual Wild West fair becomes terrifyingly real when locals clash over land ownership. Guidance: Contains some violence and racist elements which may offend.”

One viewer said the episode was “disappointing. The battle flag of the confederacy has nothing to do with America’s cowboys”.

Throughout the span of 126 episodes, there have been more than 395 murders (with more than 337 shown), around 581 deaths in total (with more than 409 seen) and an additional approximate number of 164 attempted murders or suicides (with 160 on screen).

A cricket bat, fire iron, saucepan, faulty microphone, doped horse, liquid nicotine, fungus, drinks cabinet, plough, hammer, hemlock, vintage claret, bottles of relish, frog, hatpin, and alien abduction are a few of the murder weapons used.

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