An episode of Mad Men which contains blackface will remain when AMC’s signature series returns to streaming later this month. Lionsgate has added a disclaimer to the episode, which features John Slattery’s character in blackface, explaining that the scene “shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963.”
Here is Lionsgate’s statement in full: “This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America. One of the characters is shown in blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963. In its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society that continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today and who we want to become. We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety.”
As we announced earlier, Lionsgate has closed licensing deals for the series in a complex agreement that includes a global licensing pact with Amazon, its IMDb TV, as well as AMC & Starzplay.
Lionsgate’s decision to keep the blackface episode follows a recent slew of announcements regarding the removal of episodes containing characters in blackface from series including 30 Rock, The Office, Community and Golden Girls, among others, amid renewed national conversations about offensive stereotypes and racism.
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