30 Rock

Tina Fey Asks for '30 Rock' Episodes With Blackface to Be Removed From All Platforms

Several episodes of "30 Rock" that have characters in blackface will be removed from streaming platforms and TV

This image released by NBC shows Tina Fey, left, and Alec Baldwin in "30 Rock."
AP Photo/NBC, Ali Goldstein

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 will be 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," Maroney 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.

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