ABC Shelved A Political Episode Of “Black-ish” Over “Creative Differences”
black-ish did not air a Feb. 27 episode because of its political nature, mention of athletes kneeling and more, according to ABC and Kenya Barris.
ABC’s black-ish has consistently made audiences laugh, think and debate over the course of its time on television. It has covered topics of racism, Donald Trump’s election, the usage of the N-word, postpartum depression and slavery in America. But when an politically-and-socially charged episode of the show was set to run on Feb. 27, ABC decided to shelve it due to creative differences with showrunner Kenya Barris.
The episode titled, “Please, Baby, Please,” finds Anthony Anderson’s character caring for his infant son on the night of an intense thunderstorm. As he intends to read a bedtime story, those plans are quickly exchanged to improv a tale about the state of affairs in this country. In one scene, Anderson and his oldest son Junior (Marcus Scribner) argue over the rights of athletes to kneel during the national anthem a la Colin Kaepernick.
ABC revealed in a scheduling announcement on Feb. 22 that “Please, Baby, Please” would be replaced with a rerun, but did not provide any additional details at that time about why the change had been made or when the episode would eventually 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.”
Showrunner and creator, Kenya Barris, echoed similar statements, 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.”
black-ish is one of the few primetime series to grab the attention of awards voters, as actress Tracee Ellis Ross has earned a Golden Globe for her performance and multiple Emmy nominations. In 2016 and 2017, black-ish was the only broadcast show besides Modern Family to be nominated for outstanding comedy series at the Emmys.
With no word on if we will even ever see this episode, our hope and belief is that Kenya and his solid crew of creatives will manage to overstep this obstacle and keep those must-needed conversations about what’s going on in America going and going strong.