Spitting Image: Keir Starmer and Jess Phillips sketch branded ‘sexist’

Show has received mostly negative reviews since its relaunch in 2020

Sam Moore
Monday 04 October 2021 15:19
Spitting Image trailer

Spitting Image has been accused of sexism over a sketch about Labour leader Keir Starmer and MP Jess Phillips.

On Sunday 3 October, the show’s official Twitter account shared a clip depicting puppet versions of Starmer and Phillips as superheroes attempting to foil a robbery.

In the sketch, the Phillips caricature makes crass comments such as, “Convene my Labour vag,” and, “You wanna suck some f*****g milk from my big Labour t**s?”

Near the end of the video, Starmer can also be seen calling Phillips a “Brummie tart”.

The reaction to the clip has been largely negative, with several viewers calling it “f****** awful”.

“It’s virtually impossible to overstate how fundamentally f***ing terrible this is on every conceivable level,” Max Morgan tweeted.

“Misogynistic, lacking any kind of political insight whatsoever, misogynistic, wildly fucking unfunny and misogynistic. It’s also really misogynistic.”

“I’m no fan of Jess Phillips but this is just horrible and sexist,” one person remarked, while another said: “Its not even a satire of how Jess Phillips actually is, it’s just an attack on her being a woman.”

“This is dog vomit, this isn’t even dark humour, not to mention the timing of having a pop at Jess Phillips,” another remark said.

Various other users on social media labelled the sketch “ugly”, “disgusting” and “hateful”. Many pointed out the poor timing, considering the recent sentencing over the murder of Sarah Everard and ongoing, widespread conversations about misogyny.

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“All for outrageous and edgy humour but this is just not funny and ill-judged wrt timing [sic],” one person tweeted.

“Many good friends work on Spitting Image so I’m not keen to have a go at it but wtf is this?” asked comedian and actor Rachel Parris. “Depicting the female politician utilising her ‘big vag’ and inviting ppl to milk her ‘big tits’. This is a female politician who has incidentally been subject to rape and death threats…”

The Independent has contacted representatives of the show for comment.

Spitting Image creator Roger Law insisted that the show would parody both right and left-wing figures when it returned in October last year.

Explaining that there was “no fun” in only targeting the right, Law said: “There’s lots of ammunition to throw at the other side as well. You go for them all.”

New episodes are shared to the streaming service BritBox.

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