W/ Bob & David stars defend show after Netflix removes blackface sketch

‘The point of this was to underscore the absurdity’ said David Cross

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 16 June 2020 21:57
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Bob Odenkirk and David Cross at an event in 2012
Bob Odenkirk and David Cross at an event in 2012

Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have defended their show W/ Bob & David after Netflix removed a sketch featuring blackface from its platform.

Titled “Know Your Rights”, the 2015 sketch featured Cross as Gilvin Daughtry, the leader of Citizens Against Unlawful Abuse!, who stops at a DUI checkpoint and encounters a friendly policeman played by Keegan-Michael Key.

Daughtry repeatedly tries to provoke the officer and ultimately applies blackface in an attempt to prove that “every race” has equal rights in the US. The policeman then attacks him with a taser and pepper spray.

Cross announced the removal of the sketch on Twitter, writing: “Hey all, Netflix is going to pull this sketch from With Bob & David because the ridiculous, foolish character I play puts on ‘black face’ at one point.

"The point of this was to underscore the absurdity.”

Odenkirk retweeted Cross’s post, adding: “We considered every choice we made doing our show, and always aimed to make you laugh and think, and never make an obvious or easy point… that very much includes this sketch. Our comedy is always about the human element, never about making a political point.”

"Our comedy is always about the human element, never about making a political point.”

The sketch originally appeared in the third episode of the show’s one and only season. When it came out, the use of blackface was criticised on social media, with some fans calling it "grotesque".

Netflix confirmed that it had been taken down, but declined to comment further.

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