It’s the Black-ish episode the world will never see. The popular sitcom, starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson has tackled some controversial topics before. Their Juneteeth episode covered the history of slavery and the show also dealt with the feelings of dread and horror African-Americans faced after the Trump election. Created by L.A. native Kenya Barris, Black-ish has also covered the “N” word and police shootings of unarmed Black men.
But once again, it turns out that the NFL anthem protest remains the most polarizing issue that divides people today. While specific details of the episode have not been shared or leaked, it appears that Black-ish’s attempt to cover it didn’t fly with Disney, the parent company of both ABC and ESPN that makes a lot of money off of the NFL.
Titled “Please, Baby, Please,” the episode was originally set to air Feb. 27. ABC revealed in a scheduling announcement on Feb. 22 that the episode would be replaced with a rerun of the single-camera family comedy, but did not provide any additional detail at that time about why the change had been made or when “Please, Baby, Please” would air.
“One of the things that has always made ‘Black-ish’ so special is how it deftly examines delicate social issues in a way that simultaneously entertains and educates,” an ABC spokesperson told Variety Friday. “However, on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.”
Blackish has covered everything from, “Trump’s election, the N-word, postpartum depression, and police brutality,” but when the show, DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH, tried to tackle athletes taking a knee as a form of protest, ABC/Disney SHUT THE EPISODE DOWN. https://t.co/1WJtWHOrML
— LEFT (@LeftSentThis) March 11, 2018
Shot in November and directed by Barris, “Please, Baby, Please” features Anthony Anderson’s patriarch Dre caring for his infant son on the night of an intense thunderstorm that keeps the whole household awake. Dre attempts to read the baby a bedtime story, but abandons that plan when the baby continues to cry. He instead improvises a bedtime story that, over the course of the episode, conveys many of Dre’s concerns about the current state of the country.
The episode covers multiple political and social issues. In one scene, Dre and oldest son Junior (Marcus Scribner) argue over the rights of athletes to kneel during the performance of the national anthem at football games.
“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris, the show’s creator, told Variety. “‘Black-ish’ is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I’m so proud of the series.”
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