Is the Real Housewives of ISIS Skit Really Sparking a Controversy?

Online outrage may not necessarily mean there's a controversy.


A skit released by the BBC to promote a new sketch show, Revolting, parodied ISIS and the Real Housewives reality TV franchise with a "Real Housewives of ISIS" skit that included the women comparing suicide vests and complaining about not having anything to wear to the next beheading.

You can watch the skit below:

"BBC 'Real Housewives of ISIS' Sketch Sparks Controversy," The Hollywood Reporter's headline read. Yet the controversy appears to be little more than the discussion generated online. The Hollywood Reporter reported that "perhaps predictably, the response from social media was less than enthusiastic," with viewers calling the skit "distasteful." The Daily Mail collected even more online outrage to describe the "backlash" over the skit.

For their part, Revolting co-creators Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein defended their decision to satirize extremists in i. "It's important not to pull your punches in satire. You have to be fearless or it undermines your credibility. You can't go after David Cameron for five years like we did and not go after Islamic State," Prowse told i.

"The target is online grooming," Rubinstein said of the housewives skit. "It's about people who are vulnerable to these kind of approaches. We've had the 'White Widow' [British-born terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite] so this is actually happening to women here."

Related: Anti-ISIS sketch from the Middle East

NEXT: Hate Crime Charges in Man's Kidnapping, Clapper Defends Intel on Hacking, Coats to Replace Clapper: P.M. Links

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  1. Humorless lefties really don’t understand the concept of satire at all.

    Which is why Jon Stewart couldn’t risk making fun of lefties.

    1. They love satire… as long as it’s not making fun of members of a protected class of oppressed victims. How exactly ISIS managed to get oppressed victim class status I’m not entirely sure.

      1. They aren’t Christian and they generally aren’t white; thus, oppressed victim status achieved.

    2. John Stewart didn’t make fun of leftists because he is a humorless leftist who really doesn’t understand the concept of satire at all.


  2. The comedy show that will blow you away!

    1. Isn’t it customary to mock your country’s enemies, to bolster morale?

      1. Now it’s customary to take offense on behalf of others to signal how progressive you are.

      2. Yes. There are great cartoons from WW2 that fully inform my opinions of Japs and Jerrys.

        1. I looked up “anti-nazi cartoons” in Google Images, and at least 1/3 of them were anti-Israeli cartoons from Arab newspapers.

          1. So I have that in my search history.

            1. As does the NSA.

              1. And when they filter for those people they’ll only get 4 billion hits.

        2. Maybe it’s because we’ve framed the Great War as a tragedy and the Second World War as a triumph of good over evil, but I’ve always found the Great War propaganda hilariously more dickish and petty.

          1. I thought the Huns died off like 1400 years ago. Never knew they settled in Germany.

            1. “Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated! No quarter will be given! Prisoners will not be taken! Whoever falls into your hands is forfeited. Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend, may the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross-eyed at a German.” – Wilhelm II, 1900

      3. Not for natural traitors just looking for an enemy to side with.

    2. Funnier than the skit.

      But they’re trying. I’ll give them that.

  3. I didn’t think it was that funny. Not bad, but… meh… sort of on the level of a high school youtuber– a youtuber that has potential, but still needs work.

    1. It could be improved with more jokes about their husbands coming home from work and their wives finding pieces of wool in their robes.

      1. Because ISIS are sheepfuckers, just in case that wasn’t clear.

        1. *narrows graze*

        2. Only the Top. Men. The proles have to make to with goats.


    2. It’s a very funny concept.

      1. So what Waterworld but I wasn’t laughing at that.

    3. I thought the chain bit at the end was funny, that was about it. The suicide bomber vest was a little too on the nose to work, it just comes off as lazy.

  4. Now YOU’RE defining down controversy Ed!

    1. Well, he does have to deal with us for work. Does a fish understand that water exists?

  5. I hope the Limeys have all their consulates all buttoned up.

    1. Yes, but only all the bases that are belong to us.

  6. This is what journalism has become.

    Some “journalist” works remotely by never leaving their couch. They scour the internet for stories. A couple tweets become international headlines of “outrage” or “trends.”

    1. I’m actually sitting in a chair

    2. CNN: We read Twitter so you don’t have to

    3. What’s maddening to me about Tweets = Headline News, is that all the perpetually outraged people on Twitter that have their tweets used are the sort of people that in real life situations would be shouting way to loud at the town hall meeting and making everyone feel uncomfortable.

    4. I’m positive they left the house to cover this story. Starbucks has great wifi and there’s usually some progtards there who will be stupid enough to talk to me for “local reaction”.

  7. Last night, Vikingspretty much wussed out on Islam.

    Floki, under the spell of the call to prayer, stops his maniacal cohorts from massacring a group of Muslims praying in a mosque?

    Yeah, right.

    That ain’t the way they went after the monasteries, and that ain’t the way Floki felt about Christians either.

    Chop! Chop!

    Bjorn threw in a bit there about how the Vikings were changing, but . . . gimmie a break. They weren’t gonna show people hacking praying Muslims to death during prayer–no matter what.

    Okay, one beheading. They beheaded one guy before Floki stopped them, and that’s it.

    Chop! Chop!

    1. Look, everybody knows the Nordic peoples were so awed by Muslims that they converted to Islam. It’s historical fact.

    2. Bro the Thirteenth Warrior is legit af. These Vikings are probably just Antonio Bandaras fans.

      1. When the real Muslim guy who witnessed that sacrifice at the Viking funeral by the Rus? What he described was much, much more brutal than anything that was depicted in that film.

        It was a ritualized gang rape.

        “Then the girl was pulled into the tent and the men started to beat on the shields so her screams could not be heard. Six men entered the tent to have intercourse with the girl, after which they forced her onto her master’s bed. Two men grabbed her hands, and two men her wrists. The angel of death put a rope around her neck and while two men pulled the rope, the old woman stabbed the girl between her ribs with a knife.”

        I’ve read people argue that all the cinematic and literary accounts of Viking funerals and the human sacrifices are watered down out of literary necessity. In society’s that have been heavily influenced by Christianity, you cannot have characters that actually do the things the Vikings did–and then treat them as heroes or with any kind of sympathy.

      2. That bit in Vikings first season with the sacrifice at Uppsala, where they don’t sacrifice the priest and all the sacrificed are volunteers? That’s bullshit, too.

        The contemporary witnesses wrote that it was so awful, they refused to describe it–but I’ve seen it said elsewhere that it probably involved buggery–like prison rape–and then, as always, to Odin, ended with hanging . . . since Odin hanged himself as a sacrifice to himself.

        Anyway, the idea that Floki would come to know mercy instinctively after being mesmerized by the Call to Prayer is ridiculous. Them was bad motherfuckers.

        Chop! Chop!

        1. Also, I’m pretty sure there’s more shieldmaidens in one episode than every saga ever written from Sweden to Iceland.

          1. Yeah, but I don’t complain about shieldmaidens.

            Lagetha is one of the hottest things on TV.

            That girls that plays the pirate queen on Black Sails is the only one who comes close. And it’s a good thing Black Sails is filled with gratuitous chicks like that–since all the guys in the main storyline keep turning out to be gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but, you know, that’s not what I’m tuning in for.

            Pirates would always be better than ninjas if only because Pirates always have plenty of amazing women around–even when the pirates are gay.

            1. If you’re going to have a lot of homosexuality in historical fiction, Golden Age of Piracy is a pretty valid setting.

              Lagertha’s damn fine, and her place in the setting’s not bad (bit too much ‘GIRL POWAH’ of course, but again, producers’ world, not history) but the amount of women in actual battlelines is just ridiculous.

        2. What sort of deity puts himself up on a tree as a sacrifice to himself? Crazy pagans.

          1. Probably an example of syncretism.

            It seems that the story about Odin sacrificing himself to himself was influenced by Christianity at a time when pagans were becoming sympathetic to Christianity and amalgamated some of it in the retelling of their legends.

            The part about Ragnarok and the death of Odin seems to have been adapted at a time when Christians are telling the old stories in a way that is damning to the pagan gods. Ragnarok is a lot like Armageddon, but Odin loses–like the devil loses Armageddon.

            Our sources are mostly limited to Christians writing about the legends, and that probably biased them in the retelling, but even so, Odin was not a benevolent god like the god of Christianity. Odin lent himself to being cast as the devil.

    3. Vikings says a hell of a lot more about its producers than it does about actual Norse society, let’s just leave it at that.

      (They wore Mad Max leather all the time, no helmets, and didn’t know Britain existed until the 8th century right?)

      1. In their defense, I get the chills every time Odin shows up.

        1. They tend to make decent art, and bad history. The entire dynamic between the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse is really goofy. You have a Germanic warrior people who were only mostly Christianized at the time sneering at the barbarism of a pagan Germanic warrior people.

          1. Well, they call it “The History Channel”, but the only other show I know about on there is Ancient Aliens.

            They may be called “The History Channel”, but I don’t think they’re big on history.

            1. Yes, but at least Ancient Aliens is just plain crazy bullshit, Vikings actually has moments where it shows that they’re actually trying for authenticity (most of the language use is a good touch) and failing. Costumes, environments, political relations, tactics, they’re all really bad. I feel like that that guy who reviews Last Kingdom historicity, but worse.

            2. On an episode of South Park, the slogan is:

              “The History Channel, where the Truth is History”

              Other shows include an antiques roadshow knockoff set in a Vegas pawnshop, a show that claims Hitler survived and they’re going to find him, an American Chopper knockoff show about restoring classic cars, and something about cryptozoology.

            3. They used to show lots of WWII documentaries. Now it’s just crazy bullshit and Vikings.

  8. This is what journalism has become.

    What I find so astonishing is that — for the owners, operators, and editors of the media — this style of journalism is completely self-destructive. Something is retweeted 10,000 times and it makes the front page of 10,000,000 newspapers!

    Even when it’s high volume, social media should be seen not as a force in and of itself, but merely as a microscope into what people were already thinking and talking about among themselves in the days before social media.

    As someone who doesn’t follow any twits and doesn’t have any friendster accounts, I can assure you that I have seen no effects of social media until the mainstream media reported on it.

    1. One of the main problems in using Twitter as the arbiter of what people are talking about is there’s only a certain kind of person who is actually on Twitter.

      It’s what a professional pollster would refer to as “unscientific.”

      1. If you look at the rapid decline of newspapers, it started way before Craigslist.

        As newspapers were getting gobbled up in M&A’s, the debt loads increased and there was a big push to increase circulation. They attempted this by dumbing down the content.

        The problem was not one single dumb person decided to start reading the newspaper, and the established readers slowly got disgusted with the shitty content and decided that it wasn’t worth paying for. So circulation slowly collapsed which meant that the classified ad rates became outrageous and fewer ads were taken out. Craigslist merely put the comatose into a vegetative state.

        The diagnosis of this was “We didn’t dumb it down enough!” Then they got lazy and essentially turned themselves into press release aggregators rather than reporting any actual news – saved lots of money on salaries of journalists, but it just drove away more readers since the content value is so low. Just looking at the headlines on your phone is the only reason people even go a paper’s website anymore. Nobody is going to pay a monthly access fee to read re-edited press releases.

        1. Newspapers are completely envious of Twitter because they won the race to the intellectual bottom for eyeballs. But the idiots running news outlets completely ignore the fact that Twitter doesn’t make any profit.

          Newspapers mostly existed as a big advertising flyer. They only put news stories in as way to catch a few more eyeballs that weren’t interested in the ads. Now newspaper websites are overdoing the annoyance with ads. People installed ad blockers and now the sites won’t allow you access with the ad blocker turned on. But that’s rather idiotic since people aren’t going to whitelist the site if the ads are so annoying. Popups, hovers, motion, autoplay – whatever ad rate premium these provide today will be wiped out in two years or less because people aren’t going to put up with that shit if the content is the current garbage it is. There’s a lot of experimentation going on with better-constructed news sites, but they all miss the mark so far and they can’t generate any ad money to pay for the overambitious journalism they are striving for.

          I still think the future is amateur journalism. Quotes from officials are zero-value – facts and results are all that matter, not the empty words and excuses that the officials offer up. So nobody is going to pay a dime because somebody has “access” to these assholes.

  9. In other outrages, Jon Corzine was fined $5 mil for failing to notice his firm was gambling with $1 bil of OPM.

    Former head of Goldman Sachs, former Senator, former governor of Newt Jersey, big swinging dick in both NYC and DC, all around Top. Man. Good thing we’ve got guys like this vying for the job of running our lives.

    New York-based MF Global imploded after a disastrous $6.3 billion bet on European countries’ debt. The firm filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31, 2011. The $41 billion bankruptcy was the eighth-largest in U.S. history at the time and one of Wall Street’s biggest. About $1.2 billion in customer money was discovered to be missing.

    The regulators had said that MF Global moved the money out of client accounts within days as the firm’s cash dried up. The misuse of customer funds was on a scale never seen before, CFTC officials said. Corzine failed to fix MF Global’s deficient controls and to prevent the firm from dipping into customer money, they said.

    1. He should have been fined $1.2 billion.

  10. But we still have to kill them – right??

  11. Some people somewhere found something horribly offensive – Watch it now right here! = ”

    I think its sort of interesting that our modern form of media-marketing has come to resemble something like this

  12. Apply a “whose ox gets gored” test: Would this be acceptable if it were a “Real Redneck Housewives” skit? Or a “Real Housewives of UKIP” skit? Yes? Then any other group is fair game as well.

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