Four episodes of 30 Rock have been pulled from streaming services at the request of creator Tina Fey due to their use of blackface.
The move comes as a wave of TV shows have been criticised for their racial insensitivity and been removed from the internet.
- READ MORE: Computer says go! Times haven’t changed, ‘Little Britain’ was offensive trash from the start
As Variety reports, 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have requested to network NBCUniversal that a number of episodes from the show that use blackface are removed from streaming and made unable to purchase online moving forward.
Explaining in a statement, Fey wrote: “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.
“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.”
The episodes in question include Believe In The Stars (Season 3, Episode 2) in which Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) swaps her identity with Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) in order to weigh up the societal struggles of Black and white people, and Christmas Attack Zone, which sees Maroney dressing up as American football star Lynn Swann at a fancy dress party.
The other two episodes removed from the internet are Live from Studio 6H (Season 6, Episode 19), a spoof of Amos ‘n’ Andy which sees John Hamm appear in blackface, and The Live Show (Season 5, Episode 4), which addressed a Barack Obama birth conspiracy in a fake Fox News broadcast called “Exclusive Interview With Kenyan Liar”.
30 Rock becomes the latest in a long line of shows to be edited online due to criticism around their use of blackface.
Over the past month, one of Fawlty Towers’ most famous episodes was removed from a streaming service due to racial slurs and the repeated use of the N-word, while Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ sketch comedy shows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me from streaming platforms over their use of blackface.
Channel 4 has also removed episodes of Bo’ Selecta after creator Leigh Francis apologised for his caricatures of black people in the show, while an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which sees two characters in blackface, has been removed from Netflix.
30 Rock is set to host a reunion next month, returning for an hour-long special in July, seven years after it went off the air.