Tina Fey Pulls 4 ’30 Rock’ Episodes From Circulation, Apologizes for Blackface Use

Co-showrunner Robert Carlock and NBCUniversal joined her in requesting the episodes’ removal

Last Updated: June 23, 2020 @ 6:57 AM

Four episodes of “30 Rock” that involved blackface and other racial insensitivities are being pulled from streaming services at the request of NBCUniversal, creator Tina Fey and co-showrunner Robert Carlock.

Some of the episodes have already been removed from Hulu and Amazon Prime, and the rest will be gone by the end of the week, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to TheWrap. They will also no longer be available for purchase on iTunes and Google Play and will not be aired as reruns on TV.

“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 each of the platforms. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize 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 honoring this request.”

Two of the episodes in question involved Jane Krakowski’s character Jenna in blackface — “Believe in the Stars” from season three and “Christmas Attack Zone” from season six. The third episode, a live show from season six called “Live From Studio 6H,” features Jon Hamm in blackface as part of a parody on the TV and radio show “Amos ‘n’ Andy.” The fourth episode that was pulled is the East Coast version of the show’s first live episode, called “Live Show” from season five. The reason for its removal has not yet been disclosed, but the West Coast version of that episode will remain.

According to Vulture, that East Coast live episode contained a pretend Fox News chyron that said “Exclusive Interview With Kenyan Liar,” which references a theory held by some far-right politicians, including Donald Trump, that former President Barack Obama forged his birth U.S. certificate. The West Coast version of that episode changed the chyron to read “Impartial Interview With Barack Obammunist.”

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