30 Rock episodes with blackface pulled from streaming, syndication following Tina Fey's request
Four 30 Rock episodes that include the use of blackface are being taken down by Amazon Prime and Hulu after the show's creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock requested they be removed. The episodes will also be removed from future reruns on television and won't be available to purchase from iTunes or Google Play. Vulture first reported the news.
The move came after Fey sent a letter to the platforms asking that the episodes be removed so that people can't see "these tropes and be stung by their ugliness."
"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," Fey wrote in a note obtained by Vulture and confirmed by EW. "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."
Two of the episodes in question — season 3, episode 2 ("Believe In The Stars"), and season 5, episode 10 ("Christmas Attack Zone") — depict Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) in blackface. The other two episodes being removed are season 6, episode 19 ("Live from Studio 6H"), which featured Jon Hamm in blackface spoofing Amos 'n' Andy, and the East Coast version of season 5, episode 4's live show. The acclaimed NBC comedy, which ran for seven seasons, ended in 2013.
All four of the episodes in question have been removed by Hulu, while Amazon Prime has removed three out of four (the series' season 6 episode with Hamm is still available as of Monday night). Amazon Prime has also pulled both coasts' versions of season 5's live show. Vulture noted that the two Jenna episodes were taken off Hulu at least a week ago and all of the episodes should be gone on all platforms by the end of this week.
EW has reached out to representatives for Fey, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for further comment.
NBC Universal is not the only platform rethinking its content as conversations about offensive media and cultural appropriation grow louder. Recently, HBO Max took down Gone With the Wind before announcing the movie would return with a new introduction. Additionally, Hulu and Amazon Prime removed an episode of Workaholics that featured Chris D'Elia as a child molester. The action came after numerous women accused the comedian of sexually harassing them when they were underage D'Elia has denied the accusations.