In November 2017, Blackish Creator Kenya Barris wrote an episode of his Emmy-winning ABC comedy titled “Please, Baby, Please” which addressed racism in America, ranging from the Charlottesville protests to kneeling in the NFL. Just a week before its 2018 release, Disney put it on the shelves. Now, the episode will finally see the light of day on Disney’s general entertainment streaming service, Hulu.
“It was a year after the election and coming to the end of a year that has left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and worried about its future,” Barris wrote in a statement. on Twitter. “Those feelings spread across the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. “Please, baby, please” did not air this season and, although much speculation has been made about its content, the episode was never seen publicly… until now. “
The episode is available to stream on Hulu at the moment, but it is not known if Disney plans to air the episode on ABC. The network could use new programming, and there is interest in Blackish episode following the company’s controversial decision to put it aside. Originally, the network’s main concerns were “related to character comments about President Donald Trump, not the football storyline,” according to Variety. The episode comes in the wake of mass protests around the world to fight racism and injustice.
“I can’t wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as it did almost three years ago, we hope it inspires a much needed conversation – not just about what we were with.” struggling back then or the way it got us. are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go forward and, most importantly, how we’ll get there together, ”Barris wrote in his statement.
The episode focuses on Anthony Anderson’s Dre telling his son Devante a story about humanity’s first year on Earth, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The combination of allegorical tales and very real news clips, including kneeling NFL players and protesters, allows Barris and his team to respond to the anxiety that much of the country faces each year. after Trump’s presidency, the creator said. THR back in 2018.
Disney executives and the Barris team were on board with the episode – a high-profile production that cost over $ 3 million and had a talent like Spike Lee attached. Then, a week before the episode aired, executives down to Bob Iger, then CEO at the time, reportedly expressed concerns about public alienation, with Iger telling Barris about “political sensitivities to be a distribution network in 2018 ”.
Also of note: Disney was in the process of trying to acquire 21st Century Fox. Angering a Republican-led Justice Department while trying to strike a deal is something Disney executives apparently wanted to avoid, according to THR.
The network suggested Barris and his team make changes to the episode, but “it wasn’t as easy as a pinch here or a pullback there, and the tonnage of anti-Trump material that spread in the episode ultimately made the exercise unnecessary ”. according to Journalist. Instead, both sides scrapped it. Barris would leave the ABC family and sign a global deal with Netflix worth $ 100 million.
Now, the episode will air on Hulu for the time being. Disney’s general entertainment streaming service surpassed 35 million subscribers in June.