Netflix Pulls Episode Of Community With Blackface In It
The offending scene involves Ken Jeong's character in blackface during a game of D&D.
Following on the heels of networks like NBCUniversal and Hulu--which recently pulled old episodes of TV shows 30 Rock and Scrubs where characters wore blackface--TheWrap reports that Netflix has pulled an episode of Community called "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" from its streaming service. The self-contained episode takes place over the course of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign where Ken Jeong's character, Ben Chang, plays a drow or dark elf.
When Chang shows up to the game wearing skin-covering make-up and a white wig, Yvette Nicole Brown's character Shirley says, "So we're just gonna ignore that hate crime, huh?" It's worth noting that none of the other players are dressed up, and Chang is wearing casual clothes, not drow-appropriate fantasy garb. The scene can still be viewed on the official Community YouTube account.
Sony Pictures Television declined to comment regarding the removal of the episode. There also hasn't been yet been comment from Hulu, where this episode can still be streamed, or Community's creator Dan Harmon.
Netflix's decision to pull the Community episode is one of many attempts by networks and streaming services to satisfy long-standing complaints about the portrayal of offensive stereotypes on their shows. This morning NBCUniversal announced its intention to edit an episode of The Office called "Dwight's Christmas" to remove a scene involving blackface. The pulling of Scrubs and 30 Rock episodes also happened this week. Earlier this month, HBO Max pulled Gone With the Wind before eventually returning the film to its catalog with an anti-racist disclaimer at the beginning.