back to top

There's An Online Petition To Stop Channel 4 Making A Comedy About The Irish Famine

The proposed TV series is aiming to be like "Shameless in famine Ireland".

Posted on

Dublin screenwriter Hugh Travers is writing a comedy about the great Irish famine called Hungry.

Channel 4 has commissioned a pilot script, but there is as yet no commitment to broadcasting the series.

The 1845–52 potato famine resulted in an estimated 1 million deaths and mass emigration from the country.

Advertisement

At the time of writing, the petition had 29,065 signatures, and needed just 5,935 more to reach its target.

Created by a Glaswegian named Fairlie Gordon, the petition says:

Famine or genocide is no laughing matter. Approximately 1 million Irish people died, and another 2 million were forced to emigrate because they were starving. Any programme on this issue would have to be of serious historical context, not, repeat not a comedy.

A Channel 4 spokesperson told BuzzFeed:

We have commissioned a script set in 19th century Ireland by Dublin-based writer Hugh Travers and Irish-based production company Deadpan Pictures – however, this in the development process and is not currently planned to air.

The show's writer Hugh Travers said the series would be like "Shameless in famine Ireland".

"They say 'comedy equals tragedy plus time'," Travers told the Irish Times. "I don't want to do anything that denies the suffering that people went through, but Ireland has always been good at black humour."

But not everyone is seeing the funny side.

So Channel 4 are in the process of making a comedy sitcom about the Irish Famine, what exactly is funny about the starvation of millions??

Stephen Walsh@celticbhoy32Follow

So Channel 4 are in the process of making a comedy sitcom about the Irish Famine, what exactly is funny about the starvation of millions??

10:46 AM - 02 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Advertisement

Thousands of people lost ancestors during Irish Famine - they starved to death because of lack of basic human right (food) #Faminenotfunny

Peter Heylin@pheylinFollow

Thousands of people lost ancestors during Irish Famine - they starved to death because of lack of basic human right (food) #Faminenotfunny

9:35 AM - 05 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Disgusted to hear plans of #Channel4 to make a sitcom of the genocide that was the #IrishFamine. Just. Fucking. No.

Carol Mcleod@thiscarolmcleodFollow

Disgusted to hear plans of #Channel4 to make a sitcom of the genocide that was the #IrishFamine. Just. Fucking. No.

12:44 AM - 05 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Others support the project, or at least feel conflicted about censoring certain topics.

To every Irish person getting offended that C4 have commissioned a sitcom about the famine. This is why Joyce and Beckett left the country

Rubber Bandits@RubberbanditsFollow

To every Irish person getting offended that C4 have commissioned a sitcom about the famine. This is why Joyce and Beckett left the country

7:41 PM - 01 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Don't like idea of a famine sitcom but I'm more uncomfortable with notion that certain topics are absolutely off limit-end of discussion

Katie Dawson@katiedawson23Follow

Don't like idea of a famine sitcom but I'm more uncomfortable with notion that certain topics are absolutely off limit-end of discussion

9:35 PM - 01 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Advertisement

A black comedy about the Irish potato famine? I'm personally looking forward to it - bring back London Irish too! @Channel4

Chris Russell@chrussell21Follow

A black comedy about the Irish potato famine? I'm personally looking forward to it - bring back London Irish too! @Channel4

10:00 AM - 05 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

And, as one Twitter user pointed out, people have poked fun at the famine before...

OMG! Alan Partridge makes a JOKE about the Irish Famine! : http://t.co/Iu25dTvOOn #Outrage

Joe O'Shea@josefosheaFollow

OMG! Alan Partridge makes a JOKE about the Irish Famine! : http://t.co/Iu25dTvOOn #Outrage

10:28 AM - 05 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

  1. Is a famine-themed comedy in bad taste?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Yes. There's nothing funny about it.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    No. Comedy shouldn't have limits.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
Is a famine-themed comedy in bad taste?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes. There's nothing funny about it.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No. Comedy shouldn't have limits.
 
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.