Scrubs Episodes Featuring Blackface To Be Removed From Streaming Service
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Hulu will be removing three episodes of Scrubs that feature instances of blackface from the streaming service.
The episodes in question are My Fifteen Seconds (season three, episode seven), My Jiggly Ball (season five, episode four) and My Chopped Liver (season five, episode 17).
This move comes after a widespread industry discussion about the use of blackface in TV comedies, with shows such as 30 Rock removing episodes that feature white actors wearing blackface.
In My Chopped Liver, we see best pals J.D. (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison) attend what they believe to be a costume party in one of the show’s college flashbacks. For their costumes, the pair decide to dress up as each other, with J.D. wearing blackface and Turk wearing whiteface.
J.D. is shown to be a bit uneasy about this choice, but is reassured when Turk insists his all-Black fraternity brothers won’t mind because they will see that the pair have arrived together, with both of them in on the joke.
However, after ringing the doorbell, Turk ends up getting distracted by another friend, leaving J.D. alone in blackface at the party, where he promptly receives a beating for his racist costume.
My Fifteen Seconds and My Jiggly Ball show surreal fantasy sequences where characters such as J.D. and Elliot (Sara Chalke) can be seen to have either become Turk or become combined with Turk.
The news that these episodes had been pulled from Hulu has been confirmed by The Wrap, saying they had been removed at the request of the show’s producers and ABC Studios.
This comes after Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence responded to a tweet about 30 Rock pulling episodes, with one person asking whether Scrubs would be following suit.
Agreed. Already in the works.
Apologising for the pain past episodes of 30 Rock may have caused fans, creator Tina Fey said:
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 NBC Universal for honoring this request.
Elsewhere, Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen have also been removed from streaming services due to their use of blackface.
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Topics: Film and TV, blackface, Hulu, Makeup, Now