NBC Universal announced this week that it would be removing four episodes of the hit show “30 Rock” that featured characters in blackface. In the wake of this announcement, the show’s creator and star Tina Fey has issued a groveling apology for her role in the episodes. “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,” said Fey, who frequently bashes President Donald Trump.
“I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images,” Fey continued, according to Breitbart News. “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.”
The episodes of the show that have been taken down are Season 3, episode 2, entitled, “Believe in the Stars”; Season 5, episodes 4 and 10, entitled, “The Live Show” and “Christmas Attack Zone”; and Season 6, episode 19, entitled, “Live from Studio 6H.”
It should be noted that back in 2010, the radically liberal media critic and ex-MSNBC host Touré defended the white character of Jenna Maroney’s use of blackface in one of the “30 Rock” episodes. He wrote for Mediaite at the time:
“This works where so many other attempts at blackface have failed because Fey’s not using blackface as a simplistic visual way of turning a white person Black but as a complex tool that makes a multi-layered joke at the character’s expense. Jenna is a dimwit and the audience knows that for her to think blackening up is ok adds to the perception that she’s simpleminded.”
The four “30 Rock” episodes will no longer be shown on television, and they can also not be purchased on platforms like iTunes and Google Play. This comes as other shows are having episodes that feature blackface removed from streaming services as well, including programs like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The League of Gentleman.”