On Wednesday, Hulu removed three episodes of the medical comedy Scrubs from its streaming library. The removed episodes portrayed non-black actors in blackface.
What We Know:
- In a Twitter exchange on Tuesday, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence said that the removal of offensive episodes was “in the works”. On Wednesday, Variety reported that Lawrence and ABC Studios asked Hulu to pull the episodes.
Agreed. Already in the works.
— Bill Lawrence (@VDOOZER) June 23, 2020
- Scrubs aired on NBC for nine seasons from 2001 to 2010. “My Friend the Doctor” (season 3, episode 8), “My Jiggly Ball” (season 5, episode 4), and “My Chopped Liver” (season 5, episode 17) were the episodes in question. Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke were the actors portraying blackface. Neither have commented.
- This move comes the same week that streaming services pulled episodes of 30 Rock for featuring blackface. Tina Fey, show creator and star, asked NBCUniversal to remove the episodes. In a statement, 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.”
Along with these moves by Scrubs and 30 Rock, more television shows announced changes regarding race and representation. Big Mouth and Central Park announced on Wednesday that they will recast the roles of black and mixed-race animated characters with black or mixed-race voice actors.