Vicar of Dibley hit with over 200 complaints after Black Lives Matter episode

The BBC has been hit with hundreds of complaints in relation to an episode of The Vicar of Dibley which referred to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dawn French recently revived her role as Reverend Geraldine Kennedy in the hit comedy, creating three ten minute episodes for the channel.

The Christmas special, which aired last week, saw the 63-year-old actress take the knee while dressed as the Vicar delivering a sermon on racism, paying tribute to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed at the hands of American police in May.

In one scene, the vicar called the village "not the most diverse community" before putting up a BLM poster on the parish noticeboard.

Elsewhere in the show, Geraldine said: "I'm aware that all lives matter, obviously. But until all lives matter the same we're doing something very wrong.

"I think we need to focus on justice for a huge chunk of our countrymen and women who seem to have a very bad, weird deal from the day they're born."

The Beeb confirmed on Thursday that the episode of The Vicar of Dibley had received 266 complaints

When it was first revealed that the show would reference the Black Lives Matter movement, people took to social media to share an array of angry posts.

After Dawn's Twitter page was inundated with negative tweets, she penned: "A lovely calm day, full of humanity, compassion and support all round…"

Dawn's co-star Richard Armitage, who plays her on-screen husband Harry, replied: "More love to coming to you than you'll ever know."

Speaking to The Mirror, a spokesperson for the BBC said: "The Vicar of Dibley Christmas Sermons reflects on the events of 2020 including clapping for the NHS, Black Lives Matter and school exams being cancelled amongst others.

"Geraldine is a well-established fictional character of a much-loved comedy who gives her take on the key moments of the year.

"Audiences understand the difference between news and comedy content, and the sermons do not breach the BBC's impartiality guidelines."

Mr Floyd was killed in May when a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking anti-racism protests around the world.

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