30 Rock blackface episodes pulled from all platforms at Tina Fey’s request

Sitcom aired from 2006 to 2013

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 23 June 2020 07:50 BST
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Tina Fey has pulled all episodes of 30 Rock containing blackface from streaming services and TV.

As reported by The Wrap, four episodes of the 2006 sitcom, which is set on a fictionalised version of Saturday Night Live, have been removed from streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime and video on demand stores iTunes and Google Play.

Additionally, the episodes will no longer air in reruns on terrestrial TV.

The episodes were pulled at the request of creator Fey, who was supported by co-creator Robert Carlock and NBCUniversal.

“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 letter to the platforms.

“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.”

Three of the four episodes removed feature blackface, with Jane Krakowski’s Jenna Maroney doing it twice and guest star Jon Hamm wearing it in one episode.

The reason for the fourth episode being pulled has not officially been confirmed, but Vulture has reported that the episode referenced a far-right conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama forged his birth certificate and was not born in the United States.

30 Rock is the latest show to grapple with its past use of blackface, with Ant and Dec and Jimmy Fallon all apologising for wearing it on TV.

Meanwhile, Little Britain was removed from BBC iPlayer, Brit Box and Netflix over blackface concerns.

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