DRG has long held the international rights to the show, but this deal ended in recent weeks and the rights are being transferred to Banijay, which owns Inbetweeners producer Bwark Productions. Banijay will now control the show in the UK and the rest of the world.
The timing of the transition has been unfortunate, however, as it resulted in The Inbetweeners‘ YouTube channel going offline, prompting internet conspiracies that it is among the shows that have been taken down in recent days over discrimination concerns.
Netflix has taken a tough stance on shows featuring performers in blackface, taking down comedies including The Mighty Boosh, Little Britain, and Angry Boys for this reason. The BBC and BritBox also removed Little Britain.
The Inbetweeners did not feature white actors in black makeup, but the cast have admitted that some of the jokes on the show may be deemed as inappropriate by a contemporary audience. “I do think that possibly people would maybe be more offended by The Inbetweeners if it was to be made today,” James Buckley said in 2018.
Channel 4, which broadcast The Inbetweeners in the UK, cleared up confusion over the YouTube channel. A spokeswoman said: “The rights owner of The Inbetweeners (outside the UK) has changed from DRG to Banijay Group, so the standalone YouTube channel showing The Inbetweeners content has been taken down for the time being. The Inbetweeners full episodes are still available on All 4.”
Banijay Rights will run the YouTube channel going forward and will make a call on whether to restore its content.