In a classic episode of “30 Rock,” Tracy Jordan (played by black comedian Tracy Morgan), decides to dress as a white woman to prove to Jenna Maroney (played by white actress Jane Krakowski) that being a woman is easier than being black.
Maroney, in turn, dresses up as a black man. Hilarity ensues.
But the PC police got to NBC Universal, which has decided to pull the episode — along with three others in which there is blackface, or other things now deemed offensive.
“30 Rock” pushed the boundaries of race because the show, which ran from 2006 to 2013, had a diverse cast, unlike a show like “Seinfeld” and “Friends.” Along with Morgan and his wife Angie, there was DotCom and Grizz, “Toofer,” Donald Glover, and others — all black and all major characters. For instance, in one show, Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin), laments that NBC’s writers are all “so white,” and Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey), replies: “Popo popped Dookie down by the vacants.”
No outcry then. But now is now.
Four episodes “are being removed from subscription streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime and have also been made unavailable for sale on purchase platforms such as iTunes and Google Play,” Vulture reported. “The episodes, which will no longer air on traditional TV either, were pulled at the request of NBCUniversal executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A source tells Vulture the four episodes, some of which have already vanished, should be gone by the end of this week.”
The two Jenna blackface episodes being removed, which were gone at least a week ago, per Reddit observers, are from the third and fifth seasons of 30 Rock. The season-three episode, “Believe in the Stars,” aired first on November 6, 2008, and includes a plot in which Jenna (Krakowski) and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) decide to swap identities in order to determine whether black men or white women face more challenges in society. This “experiment” includes Jenna darkening her skin. Her character again appears in blackface in the season-five episode “Christmas Attack Zone,” this time dressed as former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann at a party with boyfriend Paul (Will Forte), who dressed as Natalie Portman, in a spoof of Black Swan.