Tina Fey gets ’30 Rock’ blackface episodes pulled from distribution, with Comcast’s support

Tribune Content Agency

Following a request from Tina Fey and her 30 Rock co-creator Robert Carlock, four episodes of their Emmy-winning sitcom that show characters in blackface are being pulled from syndication and streaming.

The move, which had the support of the show’s owner, Comcast’s NBC Universal, was first reported by Vulture.com, which said the episodes were being removed from Hulu and Amazon Prime and will no longer be available for purchase on platforms like iTunes and Google Play, or be shown in TV reruns.

In a note to obtained by Variety, Fey apologized for the show’s use of “race-changing makeup.”

“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 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,” Fey wrote.

According to Variety, the episodes being taken out of circulation are “Believe In The Stars” (season 3, episode 2) and “Christmas Attack Zone” (season 5, episode 10), both of which featured Jane Krakowski’s character, Jenna, in blackface; “Live from Studio 6H” (season 6, episode 19), in which Jon Hamm was in blackface as part of an “Amos ‘n’ Andy” parody; and the East Coast version of “The Live Show” (season 5, episode 4).

After premiering in October 2006, 30 Rock ran for seven not particularly well-watched seasons on NBC, winning 16 primetime Emmy Awards including three for outstanding comedy.

Fey and her former Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” co-anchor Amy Poehler are scheduled to return as hosts of the Golden Globes next year. On Monday, it was announced that the Globes would move from January to Feb. 28 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has delayed film and television production.


©2020 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.