comedic controversies

BBC Comedy Show Incites Controversy WithReal Housewives of ISIS’ Sketch

“The Real Housewives of ISIS” from BBC’s Revolting. Photo: Courtesy of BBC

A BBC comedy show called Revolting has incited controversy with a sketch called “The Real Housewives of ISIS,” a faux reality-TV take on the wives of ISIS fighters.

The one-and-a-half-minute sketch features gags like two women getting mad at each other for wearing the same suicide vest, with lines like “It’s only three days until the beheading, and I’ve got no idea what I’m gonna wear” and “[my husband] bought me a new chain, which is eight feet long, so I can almost get outside, which is great.”

The segment, which now has over 6 million views on Facebook, quickly found itself at the center of online controversy. Many viewers criticized the sketch for being trivializing and insensitive, while others slammed the critics for being too politically correct and failing to get the joke.

The creators of the show, Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein, have indicated they wanted to use comedy to tackle extremism, but given that the abuse and enslavement of women is central to the group’s ideology, making gender the butt of the joke — while playing on the same tired reality-TV tropes we’ve seen so many times before — feels a lot more like punching down than holding truth to power.

Watch the sketch below:

People Are Mad About a Real Housewives of ISIS Sketch