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Film and TV

Tina Fey apologises for disgusting use of Blackface in 30 Rock as episodes pulled from streaming services

Josh Milton June 23, 2020
Tina Fey. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Tina Fey. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Tina Fey has pulled all 30 Rock episodes that contain Blackface from several streaming services and television channels.

As more and more television programmers and streamers reckon with back-catalogues of shows that contain racist and, at times, transphobic punchlines, Fey has shelved four episodes of the 2006 sitcom.

At the request of NBCUniversal and co-creators Fey and Robert Carlock, the episodes were removed from Hulu and Amazon Prime on June 22, as well as video-on-demand stores such as iTunes and Google Play.

Moreover, the episodes will no longer air on reruns on terrestrial TV, according to The Wrap.

‘I apologise for pain they have caused.’

“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America,” Fey wrote in a letter to the platforms, “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 apologise 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 honouring this request.”

Which 30 Rock episodes has Tina Fey asked to be taken down?

The removed episodes are season three’s “Believe in the Stars” and season six’s “Christmas Attack Zone”, which both included Jane Krakowski’s character Jenna in Blackface.

And season six’s “Live From Studio 6H” will be shelved for, the statement said, for featuring Jon Hamm in Blackface in a parody of the TV and radio show Amos n’ Andy.

Moreover, the show’s first live episode, “Live Show”, from season five will also be tugged from circulation.

It featured two different tapings for the US East and West Coasts, but only the East Coast edition will be ditched. While no official reason was issued, according to Vulture, it did contain a fake Fox News chyron that said: “Exclusive Interview With Kenyan Liar.”

A reference to a long-disputed conspiracy held by some far-right lawmakers and figures, including Donald Trump, that former president Barack Obama forged his birth certificate.

More: 30 Rock, Amazon Prime, blackface, Hulu, Jane Krakowski, jon hamm, racism, Tina Fey

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