NBCUniversal is removing four 30 Rock episodes that feature characters in blackface from streaming services and syndication. The episodes will also vanish from iTunes and Google Play and other platforms.
“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 30 Rock executive producer and Trump-basher Tina Fey in a statement. The episodes have been pulled after a request from the show’s executive producers Fey and Robert Carlock, according to a report by Vulture.
“I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images,” Fey continued. “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 being removed are Season 3, episode 2, entitled, Believe In The Stars; Season 5, episodes 4 and 10, entitled, The Live Show and Christmas Attack Zone; and Season 6, episode 19, entitled, Live from Studio 6H.
One skit, which Breitbart News reported at the time, came during a “live episode that included a skit where Mad Men star Jon Hamm showed up in an afro wig and blackface playing a Stepin Fetchit-type character.” Another 30 Rock blackface episode (2010) saw show regular Jenna Maroney darken her skin to look like NFL great Lynn Swann.
Here’s how leftist culture critic and former MSNBC host Touré, writing at Mediaite, described Maroney’s blackface performance:
“This works where so many other attempts at blackface have failed because Fey’s not using blackface as a simplistic visual way of turning a white person Black but as a complex tool that makes a multi-layered joke at the character’s expense,” he wrote. “Jenna is a dimwit and the audience knows that for her to think blackening up is ok adds to the perception that she’s simpleminded.”