Adult Swim Retires Episodes of ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ and ‘The Boondocks’ Due to ‘Cultural Sensitivities’

“The Shivering Truth” episode “Ogled Inklings” has been “temporarily rested”

Last Updated: September 29, 2020 @ 8:33 AM

Adult Swim has “permanently retired” an episode of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and an episode of “The Boondocks,” making them unavailable for streaming on the Adult Swim site and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, “due to cultural sensitivities,” a representative for the cable channel told TheWrap Tuesday.

“The Boondocks” installment in question is Season 3’s “The Story of Jimmy Rebel,” which focuses on Uncle Ruckus’ relationship with a country singer whose albums have titles like “Real N****** Never Die, They Just Smell That Way.”

The “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” episode that was removed is Season 6’s “Shake Like Me,” which is titled in reference to John Howard Griffin’s “Black Like Me,” and sees Shake become “stereotypically” Black in his behavior and physical appearance after being bitten by a Black man infected with toxic waste.

These episodes are not available on HBO Max because they are not part of Adult Swim’s streaming deals with the platform. (Both HBO Max and Adult Swim are owned by WarnerMedia.)

“When Adult Swim transitions series to a new platform we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies,” the Adult Swim spokesperson said, referencing “The Boondocks” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” catalogs being made available on HBO Max when the streaming service launched in May. “Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show’s creators.”

Representatives for “Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” co-creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Additionally, Adult Swim has “temporarily rested” an episode of “The Shivering Truth,” titled “Ogled Inklings,” from the Adult Swim website due “to sensitivity around current events,” per the rep. However, the spokesperson says that the episode — which follows a pregnant woman who gives birth to a police officer, who is called a “dirty pig” — will “be returning to the site and included when the series debuts on HBO Max” at a yet-to-be-announced date.

The decision to “retire” and “rest” the episodes comes amid the resurgence of Black Lives Matters protests, which have led to episodes of “The Office,” “Community,” “30 Rock,” “Scrubs” and more series being removed from streaming services or edited due to their content.

The Daily Beast first reported the news that these episodes of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “The Boondocks” and “The Shivering Truth” had been retired or removed from streaming by Adult Swim.