Tina Fey Asks For 30 Rock Episodes Featuring Blackface to Be Removed From All Platforms

Tina Fey wrote a letter to streaming platforms asking for the removal of four episodes of 30 Rock and apologized for "the pain they've caused"
By Lauren Piester Jun 23, 2020 1:25 AMTags
Tina Fey, 30 RockNBC

Several episodes of 30 Rock will be leaving all platforms soon, if they haven't already. 

The episodes feature characters in blackface, and at the request of NBCUniversal and creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, they are being made unavailable to stream or to buy and will no longer air on TV. 

"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," Fey wrote in a letter to platforms, per Vulture. "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."

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Two of the episodes involve Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) darkening her skin with makeup. In one episode, season three's "Believe in the Stars," she and Tracy (Tracy Morgan) switch places for a day as an experiment. In season five's "Christmas Attack Zone," Jenna dresses up as Black Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynne Swann while boyfriend Paul (Will Forte) dresses as Natalie Portman in Black Swan

In season six's live episode "Live From Studio 6H," Jon Hamm did a spoof of Amos N' Andy and appeared in blackface. The east coast version of the season five live show, titled "Live Show," will also be removed, while the west coast version will still be available. No reason has yet been made clear for the removal of the east coast version. 

30 Rock will be one of the many NBCUniversal shows streaming on Peacock when it launches next month. 

(E! is part of the NBCUniversal family.)