’30 Rock’ Episodes Removed From Streaming Over Blackface

Four episodes of “30 Rock,” the hit comedy series created by the actor Tina Fey, are being taken out of circulation on streaming services and television because they depict actors in blackface, according to a spokesman for NBC.

The request by Ms. Fey and Robert Carlock, an executive producer and co-showrunner, means the episodes are being removed from Amazon Prime and Hulu. They will no longer be available for purchase from iTunes and Google Play, and they will not be shown as television reruns, according to NBC Universal.

“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,” Ms. Fey, who was also an executive producer and writer on the show, wrote in a note to the streaming services.

“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 NBC Universal for honoring this request,” she wrote in the note, which was reported by Vulture on Monday.

Ms. Fey played the part of Liz Lemon on the show, which ran from 2006 to 2013, as a satirical look behind the scenes of a live sketch show through the eyes of its creator, her conservative boss, played by Alec Baldwin, and outlandish employees.

The process to remove the episodes from sales platforms started several weeks ago, a spokesman at NBC Universal said on Tuesday. The third season episode “Believe In The Stars” was marked “unavailable” on Amazon Prime on Tuesday, as were the fifth season episodes “The Live Show” and “Christmas Attack Zone,” both of which featured Jane Krakowski’s character, Jenna, in blackface.

The sixth season episode “Live from Studio 6H,” which featured the actor Jon Hamm in blackface as part of an “Amos ‘n’ Andy” parody, was also reportedly to be removed from Amazon. Those four episodes were also unavailable on Hulu on Tuesday.

The decision to remove the episodes comes as protests over racism and police mistreatment of black people are resounding across the country, and statues depicting Confederate figures, and slave owners and traders, are being removed from public places.

The protests have also caused cultural figures and institutions to reconsider their catalogs and histories, and in some cases to apologize. This month, HBO Max removed from its streaming library “Gone With the Wind,” the 1939 movie that romanticizes the Civil War-era South while glossing over its racial sins.

In May, Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show,” apologized for wearing blackface while impersonating the comedian Chris Rock on “Saturday Night Live” two decades ago.

“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” Mr. Fallon said on Twitter. “There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”

Separately, a video of Jimmy Kimmel, the host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” in blackface while impersonating the basketball player Karl Malone on “The Man Show” resurfaced last year, as part of a segment where he repeatedly impersonated the N.B.A. star.

He apologized on Tuesday in a statement, saying: “I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us.’

“That delay was a mistake,” he added.




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