Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the creators of the hit TV comedy 30 Rock have asked their network NBCUniversal to remove four of the series' episodes from any further streaming or network circulation due to their use of blackface, according to Variety.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation. I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honouring this request,” wrote Tina Fey in a statement to the press.
Amazon and Hulu have already removed the episodes from their streaming services NBCUniversal plans to have all four of the episodes removed before the end of the week. Fans will no longer have access to purchase these episodes on iTunes or Google Play and they will no air as reruns on television.
The four episodes that feature blackface are:
- “Believe In The Stars” (season 3, episode 2)
- “Christmas Attack Zone” (season 5, episode 10)
- “Live from Studio 6H” (season 6, episode 19)
- The East Coast version of “The Live Show” (season 5, episode 4).
There removal comes in response to many networks reviewing all their past content to remove anything that may cause racial insensitivity. The BBC recently removed an episode of Fawlty Towers, much to the chagrin of its creator John Cleese. HBO Max also recently removed Gone With The Wind from its streaming library. It was later reinstated featuring an introduction from film scholar Jacqueline Stewart, who is also the host of Turner Classic Movies.