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Funny or Too Far: BBC’s ‘Real Housewives of ISIS’

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A BBC sketch comedy series called “Revolting” has been criticized for trying to turn ISIS into something funny. Thus far, its new sketch called  The Real Housewives of ISIS  is being met with both praise and outrage.

Written by Bafta-winning directors Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein, The Real Housewives of ISIS, the sketch depicts the lives of the women who have been wooed by jihadists online. In a scene from the bit, one of the young women appears wearing a new suicide jacket, as others record her “outfit” for Instagram. Another housewife remarks, “It’s only three days until the beheading, and I’ve got no idea what I’m going to wear!”

 

 

“Oh babe, you look gorgeous!” her friend tells her before saying in a confessional: “She looked massive. You’re gonna need a lot of Semtex to kill that one.”

BBC spokeswoman Kate Toft said it would not comment on the show “other than to say that it’s satire and the BBC has a rich history of satire.”

 




 

Rubinstein, one one of the show’s writers, has defended the sketch, saying, “It’s important not to pull your punches in satire. You have to be fearless or it undermines your credibility.”

According to Rubinstein, the skit’s intention is to expose “online grooming” methods. “It’s about people who are vulnerable to these kind of approaches,” he added. “We’ve had the ‘White Widow’ (Samantha Lewthwaite, a British terror suspect) so this is actually happening to women here.”

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