Since it began, The Carmichael Show has been unafraid to tackle complex, contemporary subjects in the sitcom format. Episodes of Jerrod Carmichael’s sitcom have discussed everything from gun control to the N-word. Wednesday night, the show had planned to air a new episode, “Shoot Up-able,” in which Carmichael’s character survives a mass shooting and discusses the aftermath with his family. Given the multiple shootings that happened during the day Wednesday, NBC ultimately decided to pull the episode and air a different one, “Lesbian Wedding,” in its place. Carmichael did not agree with this decision.
Appearing on Chelsea to discuss the episode, Carmichael explained he thought the episode “would have an opportunity to talk about these tragedies in a meaningful way and really lend itself to conversation.” He explained that Americans mostly avoid confronting these hard issues, which is why it’s important to open a place for such conversations, even in the wake of real-life pain.
“A lot of times when things like this happen and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that’s not the news, people will say ‘too soon,'” Carmichael said. “But when is it not too soon? Unfortunately, these things happen constantly and it’s a thing that breaks all of our hearts … I understand a corporation making that decision, but really, to me, what it says is you don’t think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue and something that reflects real family conversations and something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims,” Carmichael said. “We handled the episode with as much love and integrity as we could. To pull that is just criminal. It does a disservice to the viewer, it does a disservice to you, it does a disservice to all of us.”
“I’m glad you’re f—ing saying it,” Handler said. “You’re absolutely right.”
Watch the clip above, and see the full episode when it hits Netflix Friday.