‘Pokémon’ episode pulled from airing in the US over ‘blackface’ concerns

The episode in question is part of the ongoing 'Sun and Moon' series, which airs on Disney XD

An episode of the Pokémon TV series has been removed from the schedules in the US after concerns that one scene showed a main character wearing blackface.

The episode in question, titled ‘Touchdown of Friendship!!’, is the 64th episode of the ongoing Sun and Moon series, and has already aired in Japan.

However, Disney XD – which airs Pokémon in the US – have decided not to broadcast the episode because Ash Ketchum is depicted in one scene with his face painted in black.


The episode sees Ash getting to know a tribe of Passimians, a type of Pokémon. In order to form a close relationship with the Passimians, he ends up mimicking their way of movement and donning a costume to look more like them – a move which sees him paint his face black.

Screengrabs from the scene in question has since been posted to social media, which you can see below.

Disney XD have chosen to skip ahead to the next episode of the Sun and Moon series instead of airing ‘Touchdown of Friendship!!’. The Pokémon Company told Comicbook.com that they had “no comment at this time” about Disney’s decision not to air the episode.


Back in November, clips of Pokémon fans who were watching one of the franchise’s latest movies went viral for their reactions to hearing Pikachu speak English for the first time.