Black sitcoms have not been afraid to tackle politics, race and other issues that are important to the African-American community that can make others feel a bit uncomfortable. The latest example is an episode of Black-ish that will not see the light of day.
ABC has indefinitely shelved the episode, titled Please, Baby, Please, which was set for broadcast on Feb. 27. It featured Anthony Anderson, who plays Dre, attempting to read a bedtime story to his infant son, who refuses to go to sleep. When reading the book doesn’t work, Dre makes up a story that touches on his concerns about troublesome current events across the country, according to Variety.
“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” said Kenya Barris, the show’s creator and producer.
Black-ish has fearlessly given voice to outlooks on culture and current affairs from a Black perspective, which has sometimes ended in controversy. Here are a few more examples from Black-ish and other TV shows that deftly expressed our views.
Black-ish tackled the issue of explaining to children the wave of high-profile police shootings of unarmed Black men. In the episode, three generations of the family discussed how we should respond to police brutality.
Dre expressed our concerns about President Donald Trump’s winning the 2016 election. He told his White co-workers that he “loves this country even though at times it doesn’t love me back.” Dre explained that Black people try to play by the rules but “this system has not worked for us.”
Dave Chappelle showed how White America gave President George W. Bush a pass on the Iraq War and other issues that they wouldn’t grant a Black president.
Africa-American White Supremacists
Chappelle took aim at Black conservatives who align themselves with the goals of White supremacy. He created an unforgettable blind Black man named Clayton Bigsby who spews self-hatred without knowing that he’s Black.
NBC wasn’t pleased to learn that A Different World was working on an episode about the Los Angeles riots. The network wanted to avoid controversy, but the producers couldn’t just ignore what was going on in the country.
The students at Hillman College, the fictional HBCU of A Different World, took on the cause of the anti-apartheid movement. This episode involved calling on the school to cut ties with companies that did business with the racist South African regime.