Black-ish fans can now see the never-before-released episode of the series that was pulled by ABC back in 2018 over creative differences.
Update (8/10/2020): Fans of ABC’s critically acclaimed family sitcom, Black-ish will likely recall the controversy that followed after an episode (which was originally set to air in February 2018) was shelved indefinitely by the network following ‘creative differences’ with shworunner Kenya Barris.
Titled “Please, Baby, Please,” the pulled episode was replaced with a rerun, and later revealed to have been nixed due to some political themes Barris and ABC could not see eye to eye with.
Now, fans of the series will finally get to feast their eyes on the never-before-seen episode in question.
Showrunner Kenya Barris took to Twitter on Monday (August 10) to announce that beginning today, Black-ish fans could watch the episode on Hulu.
In a lengthy text post, the series creator spoke how the state of America one year post-election is what ultimately inspired him to write “Please, Baby, Please.”
Barris also touched on how the episode finally came to land on Hulu despite being pulled from the lineup two years ago.
“Following the re-airing of ‘Juneteenth’ and ‘Hope,’ I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available. Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed,” wrote Barris.
“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation— not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward, and most importantly, how we get there together,” said Barris.
— kenya barris (@funnyblackdude) August 10, 2020
The Black-ish episode, “Please, Baby, Please” is available to stream now on Hulu.
Original Story (3/10/18):
An episode of the critically acclaimed ABC show, Black-ish, has been shelved indefinitely by ABC following ‘creative differences’ with showrunner Kenya Barris.
The episode in question, “Please, Baby, Please,” was due to air on February 27. ABC pulled the episode on February 22, and stated in a scheduling announcement that a re-run would replace it. At that time, there were no details given for pulling the episode.
Friday, in a statement to Variety, an ABC spokesperson finally gave a reason for removing the episode from the schedule.
“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,” the spokesperson told Variety. “However, on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.”
Barris also provided a statement, saying, “Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it. 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.”
What, specifically, in the episode caused the ‘creative differences’ is uncertain. “Please, Baby, Please,” was, as the series has come to be known for, heavily political. The episode was due to see patriarch Dre taking care of his young son, during an intense thunderstorm.
Unable to settle his son with a traditional bedtime story, Dre improvises, instead spinning a tale that incorporates some of Dre’s insecurities and fears over the current state of the country. In one scene, Dre and his oldest son, Junior, were set to argue over an footballer’s right to take a knee during the national anthem.
The show has previously tackled topics like Donald Trump’s election, the N-word, postpartum depression, and police brutality, so it is difficult to pin-point what might have triggered the reason to pull the episode.
For now, neither part is providing further context. There are also no plans to provide the episode through any other means of distribution.