Hit sitcom 30 Rock has called for the removal of episodes that feature blackface. The show, which ended in 2013 after seven seasons, can still be seen through re-airs or streamed on various platforms.
Fey hopes to prevent another kid getting "stung" by the "ugliness" of such tropes.
At the request of NBCUniversal, Tina Fey wrote a letter to all platforms that stream or sell 30 Rock. Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, FandangoNOW, Google Play, and iTunes, are just a few of these services. According to Vulture, Fey's letter expresses her hopes for racial justice in America, saying:
"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."
She then closes the letter by apologizing and thanking NBCUniversal, adding:
"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."
Episodes Already RemovedGiphy
According to some sharp-eyed Reddit users, two episodes featuring the show's character Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) with blackface have been removed even prior to the letter. The third season's episode 2 has been removed, where Jenna and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) try to act like each other, leading to Jenna's blackface. The user then adds that another episode, the fifth season's episode 10, has also been removed. Talking about a third episode with blackface, the Reddit user explains how not all of the episodes show the character being condemned for portraying blackface, saying:
"That episode and "Live From Studio 6H" clearly do it in the exact historical context that shouldn't be erased from history books (showcasing its insensitivity). I will say however, rewatching the second time she does it in "Christmas Attack Zone," I'm SHOCKED they got away with it up until now because it literally is just blackface for a one joke punchline "two black swans," and she faces no repercussions or criticisms at all. There's no context provided, making it problematic (which is arguably the point to show Jenna's narcissism)."
Fresh '30 Rock' Content
For fans of the show, NBC is releasing an hour long special, where the cast of 30 Rock will come together in-character. One More 30 Rock will air on NBC on July 16th at 8 p.m.!