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Tina Fey pulls 30 Rock episodes

Tina Fey apologises for blackface depictions as 4 episodes disappear from circulation.

Four episodes of 30 Rock are being removed from circulation after creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock apologised for blackface depictions.

“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 NBCUniversal for honoring this request,” Fey said in a statement.

Variety reports the episodes are “Believe In The Stars” (season 3, episode 2 2008) and “Christmas Attack Zone” (season 5, episode 10 2010), both of which featured Jane Krakowski’s character Jenna in blackface, as well as “Live from Studio 6H” (season 6, episode 19 2012), which featured Jon Hamm in blackface as part of an “Amos ‘n’ Andy” parody, and the East Coast version of “The Live Show” (season 5, episode 4 2010).

In Australia “Believe In The Stars” and “Christmas Attack Zone” have been removed from Foxtel, Binge and Stan.

A West Coast version of “The Live Show”, which does not include blackface, remains.

At the time of publication all episodes were still available at Amazon Prime.

A Foxtel spokesperson confirmed distributor NBCU had requested the episodes be removed.

Stan has been contacted for comment.

10 Responses

  1. Surprise Surprise. The comments never fail to disappoint. Do some research people… the world does not revolve around you. I am so glad this finally getting the publicity it deserves, good to see equality is finally looking like a possibility

    1. Where’s the research that shows censoring a couple if sitcom episodes that most satirise white corporate culture, or in this case how insensitive and inconsiderate Jemma is, will produce equality? But why does the world have to revolve around you? What’s wrong with debate and a vote?

  2. I think this is a knee-jerk reaction from Fey to avoid possible social media cancellation. I don’t know about all the episodes featuring blackface (and I was never a fan of the live episodes), but “Believe In The Stars” was about a challenge to Jane Krakowski’s character to change places with a black person to see if she’s treated differently. Surely context is important here? By all means, add a content warning, but trying to erase episodes from existence doesn’t help anybody. You need to be able to debate what is right and wrong, and censorship will never achieve that.

  3. I don’t recall them but I assume there was context and this show is not so old, so it strikes me as odd that a satiric and often sardonic toned series would second guess its own sensibilities not that many years after she wrote, produced and starred in these episodes. Whilst I think Tina Fey is part of the solution rather than the problem, these actions are somewhat tokens. At this stage if all series from TV history trawled through their catalogue they would find representations that decades later or in this case a decade ago, that are now seen through a different prism. They made choices, doesn’t make them right, but I don’t think it makes them wrong either.

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