Jack Whitehall’s ‘Bad Education’ Really is ‘Bad’ (2012-2015)

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Bad Education was commissioned by BBC3 between 2012-2014 and even spawned a film in 2015. Although universally panned (even by the racist Daily Mail), it has received good ratings upon screening, and has sustained reasonable DVD sales. The problem is that this series as a concept is entirely premised upon its creator – Jack Whitehall’s – middle class stereotypes of the working class and ethnic minorities. Furthermore, its depiction of homosexuality is entirely homophobic in nature, but disguised as ‘inclusion’. In fact, all of Whitehall’s characters are nothing but negative gender, ethnic and class stereotypes that are demeaning and disemporing. This should not be surprising, as Whitehall is the product of his own bourgeois socio-economic conditioning. For a responsible parent, the idea of a teacher like Jack Whitehall’s character is distressing and alarming. Failing schools are not funny, and social inequality is not a laughing matter for those not living in a middle class utopia. When a society fails its children due to an asymmetric distribution of wealth and resources, this is ‘child abuse’ and not humour. Ignorant working class children with no responsible adult role models should not be the cannon fodder the Whitehall’s flagging career, but the class prejudice he displays runs much deeper than this. The assistant head master is depicted in an entirely misogynistic manner. This character is made to appear like a male fascist hell-bent on world domination. She is sexually aggressive (whilst depicted as ‘repulsive’), and her sexual preference appears to change with the wind. although Nazi-esque in attitude, Whitehall avoids all mention of Hitler and Nazi Germany, but instead has a Soviet education poster hanging on her office wall. At this point all is implied but nothing is said. Obviously Whitehall is so poorly educated in reality, that he accepts and perpetuates US Cold War propaganda that equates Nazi Germany with the Soviet Union (despite the fact that the USSR was an ally of the UK during WWII, and lost between 27-40 million people fighting Nazi Germany). In a later episode which features the sub-plot that the deputy head has committed suicide, Whitehall has one of his working class thugs stating that she is probably in hell with Stalin – as if Joseph Stalin was a bad person! Again, Whitehall does his best to demonize the Soviet Union whilst protecting the reputation of Nazi Germany. As for disability, Whitehall seems to think that everyone with a disability possesses legs that do not function – that is it.  Probably the most outrageously ‘racist’ element of this ‘comedy’ is the character of Jing Hua – a supposedly Mainland Chinese teenager attending school for some unknown reason in Watford. Whitehall does not seem to understand that Britain possesses its own indigenous Chinese community of children born in the UK. By depicting Jing Hua as he does, he omits from British history the historical Chinese presence in this country – a country that has forcibly deported its Chinese populations twice – once in 1919 and again in 1946 – due to White British racist and xenophobic attitudes. Even if it is argued that there are Mainland Chinese students in the UK (which there undoubtedly are), Whitehall is entirely wrong to cast a Japanese actress (Kae Alexander) in the role of Jing Hua, when there are many fine and capable British born Chinese actresses to choice from. Furthermore, Japan committed atrocities in China during WWIi (and before), killing millions of Chinese men, women and children, crimes that the Japanese government will neither admit to, or apologise for.  The character of Jing Hua appears to have been created by Whitehall for his character to attack Communist China, and make an apparently ‘Chinese’ student the butt of all his racially motivated ‘jokes’. Bad Education is a disgrace in the 21st century, and reminds me of a modern re-make of the notoriously ‘racist’ Mind Your Language from the 1970’s. Jack Whitehall and BBC3 demonstrate that prejudice and racism survives the changing times by adapting the manner in which they manifest.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s