Tina Fey (second from left) pictured with fellow 30 Rock cast members Jack McBrayer, Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski (Shutterstock)
30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, along with the show's owner NBCUniversal, have asked that four episodes of the series in which characters appear in blackface be removed from streaming and syndication.
In a note obtained by Variety, Fey wrote to the platforms asking for the episode to be removed, and also apologising "for pain they have caused".
At the request of Tina Fey, four episodes of "30 Rock" in which characters appear in blackface have been removed online https://t.co/vKrMkRlauM— Variety (@Variety) June 23, 2020
"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.
All of the episodes will be removed by the end of this week, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, while some have already been removed from Amazon and Hulu.
The episodes will no longer air as reruns on television, and viewers will also no longer be able to purchase the episodes from on iTunes and Google Play.
The news comes as many content platforms are re-evaluating content for racial sensitivity.
Just over two weeks ago, HBO Max removed Gone With the Wind from its library, before re-instating it with an introduction from Turner Classic Movies host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart.
© RAW 2020