No offence



This animated clip considers sex discrimination and prejudice in the workplace.

The film was made by Leeds Animation Workshop in 1994.



Once upon a time, in a land not far away, there was a magnificent castle, the domain of Queen Ella who was both wise and good. Under her guidance the region prospered: agriculture flourished, wonderful textiles and manufactured goods of all kinds were produced and soon more staff were needed. Many were attracted by the castle’s excellent Equal Opportunities policy, others came in spite of it.

At first all went well, but soon one section of the workforce began to lag behind the others. In the Department of Dwellings and Abodes productivity was going down and staff absences were going up. The workers insisted that they had no special problems, but it was rumoured that bad luck befell anyone who went to work there. One day news leaked out that several members of the Dwellings and Abodes staff had disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

The queen summoned the department’s chief executive, Bluebeard Lord of the Gnomes. He was most upset. ‘I have no idea where they can be’, he told her, so she decided to find out for herself. She called her chief ministers. ‘I’m going away. If there is an emergency you can page me. I shall be gone for three days.’ Then she disguised herself as a serving maid and entered the Department of Dwellings and Abodes. ‘I’m from the Maid in a Moment staff agency, they need me in the canteen.’ At once she noticed an unusual atmosphere. It seemed Bluebeard had appointed a high proportion of male gnomes like himself to positions in the department. Many of them spoke and acted strangely and the queen feared they had been bewitched. Ella approached the chef. ‘I’d like a word with you’. ‘Would you’ he said ‘what is it flower?’ ‘I don’t like them whistling at me.’ ‘That’s your fault for being so pretty’, he laughed, ‘they’re just trying to be friendly and nobody else has complained.’ Thoughtfully the queen went back to work. Suddenly she felt something creeping across her shoulder. ‘It’s that chef again’, said the kitchen maid, ‘he’s got wandering hands.’ ‘Then he too must be the victim of an evil enchantment, but why is he picking on me?’ ‘Partly because you’re new’, replied the kitchen maid.
No offence
© Leeds Animation Workshop
Held by
Leeds Animation Workshop

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