Spitting Image criticised over ‘crass and tasteless’ depiction of Jess Phillips

Spitting Image criticised over ‘crass and tasteless’ depiction of Jess Phillips

Political satire show Spitting Image has been criticised for its depiction of Labour MP Jess Phillips.

The rebooted puppet show has been roundly slammed on social media for airing two scenes of the politician claiming she is an “annoying feminist” and using some pretty crude language.

The first scene shows a thief trying to steal someone’s scooter in the middle of the night before they are interrupted by a superhero: The Fox Man - or Keir Starmer who tries to de-escalate the incident. Then, another superhero figure version of Jess Phillips appears.

“Aren’t you Jess Phillips, the annoying outspoken feminist who wants to drag Labour more to the centre?” the Starmer character asks.

“No, I’m Viral, the annoying outspoken feminist superhero who wants to make Labour more electable.”

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She then whips out a chainsaw and says: “Convene my big Labour v*g” before cutting the man’s scooter in half.

“An adult man should not be on a scooter like a baby,” she says. “You want to suck some f***ing milk from my big Labour t*ts?”

The show then also implied the politician cares more about social media than unity in the Labour Party and mocked her for being “angry” about the patriarchy.

Meanwhile, in another scene, Starmer asks Phillips for help getting attention at the Labour Party conference. To rile him up, she hits him across the face with a pan.

Reacting to the clips, people thought they were unacceptable, particularly because Phillips has faced sexist abuse during her time in politics and given the reporting on violence against women that has dominated the news:

It is not the first time the show has faced a backlash. Earlier this year, it was lambasted for its depiction of England footballer Marcus Rashford, with critics both questioning the show’s decision to target him while he had been subjected to racist abuse following the Euros, and suggesting that it does not resemble him in any way.

Meanwhile, after it depicted Greta Thunberg in 2020, some said it was unfair to target her. The show issued a statement explaining it stood by its decision, adding “it’s nothing to do with her as an individual”.

Britbox declined to comment when indy100 contacted them on this occasion. Indy100 has also contacted Jess Phillips.

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