Three years ago, ABC shelved an anti-Trump episode of Black-ish that network executives deemed was too hot to handle for its harsh criticisms of the president. Now the episode will finally see the light of day on Hulu.
The Walt Disney Co., which owns both Hulu and ABC, has decided to allow the unseen “Please, Baby, Please” episode to join the Black-ish library available for streaming on Hulu, according to show creator Kenya Barris. The controversial episode, which was supposed to air during the show’s fourth season in 2017, is believed to feature scathing attacks on President Trump and his administration.
Kenya Barris said that he asked Disney to re-consider the episode following recent repeat broadcasts of the episodes “Juneteenth” and “Hope,” the latter of which has a police-brutality theme.
“I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available. Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed,” Barris said in a statement on Monday.
— kenya barris (@funnyblackdude) August 10, 2020
“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together.”
Kenya Barris quit ABC over the network’s decision to shelve “Please, Baby, Please,” moving shop to Netflix in what was reported to be a $100 million deal. Barris told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that he had screened a few cuts of the episode for network bosses.
“It wasn’t as easy as a nip here or a tuck there, and the sheer tonnage of anti-Trump material rippling through the episode ultimately made the exercise futile,” he told THR.
Hollywood studios and networks have been busy removing and editing content that might be perceived as offensive in the wake of Black Lives Matter riots. The Paramount Network cancelled Cops while A&E axed Live PD.