As Hollywood continues to slowly shift with the changing landscape of racial identity and inclusion, NBCUniversal has removed four episodes of 30 Rock from streaming services and syndication that feature characters in blackface.
The request for the removal of the episodes came from show creator/exec producer/showrunner Tina Fey and exec producer/co-showrunner Robert Carlock.
“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,” said Fey in a statement. “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 honoring this request.”
The episodes that were requested to be removed include the season 3 episode 2 titled “Believe In The Stars”, season 5 episode 10 titled “Christmas Attack Zone” as well as Season 6 episode 19, “Live from Studio 6H” and the east coast version of season 5 episode 4 “The Live Show”. These four episodes are in the process of being removed from NBCUniversal’s sales platform. They currently working with partners to remove the episodes from current runs. All episodes are expected to be removed from Hulu, Amazon Prime iTunes and Google Play by this week. Vulture was the first to report the news.
The removal of the blackface episodes of 30 Rock comes shortly after HBO Max removed Gone With the Wind from its newly launched streaming platform. The film is set to return to the streamer with a disclaimer about historical context.