23 June 2020

30 Rock creator Tina Fey apologises as blackface episodes are taken down

Tina Fey, the creator of hit US sitcom 30 Rock, has apologised for episodes of the show featuring white actors wearing blackface, after they were removed by TV networks and streaming sites.

The episodes were taken down across media platforms following a request made by Fey and fellow NBCUniversal executive producer Robert Carlock.

According to Vulture, Fey wrote a letter to those who sell or stream the show in which she was profusely and deeply sorry about the decision to use blackface.

She wrote: "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 make-up are best taken out of circulation.

"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."

A number of sitcoms have also been taken out of circulation in the UK such as Little Britain and Come Fly With Me.

Speaking about the decision to take their shows down, writers Matt Lucas and David Walliams both posted similar tweets saying: "David and I have both spoken publicly in recent years of our regret that we played characters of other races. 

"Once again we want to make it clear that it was wrong and we are very sorry."

Leigh Francis, creator and writer of sketch show Bo’ Selecta!, also apologised for depicting black celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Craig David and Trisha Goddard.

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