“Creative differences” has caused a previously shelved episode of ABC’s “Black-ish” to be placed on the backburner indefinitely.
After “Please, Baby, Please,” was pulled from airing on Feb. 27, the network and series creator Kenya Barris have mutually decided not to air it at all, Variety reported Friday, March 9.
“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris said in a statement. “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.”
The episode was centered on Anthony Anderson’s Dre, who’s looking after his youngest son, Devante, when a thunderstorm rolls through and wakes up the entire house. When storybooks won’t quell the infant, Dre resorts to telling a story of his own about the country’s current state of affairs.
As is usual for “Black-ish,” the episode doesn’t shy away from racial topics. This one, which was filmed in November, took on a debate between Dre and his oldest son, Junior, over athletes’ rights to kneel during the national anthem.
“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 said. “However, on this episode, there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.”
The topic of kneeling during the anthem became widespread after former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick began doing it. Since that fateful 2016 NFL season, pros from all different leagues have knelt or otherwise refused to stand as the “Star Spangled Banner” went on.
With ABC being a carrier of NFL games, it would make sense for it not to have any plans for it to air. But “Black-ish” has taken on controversial race-related events before. They include the use of the N-word and police brutality. It has even faced accusations that the program is too focused on race.
As such, many fans are riled up over the network pulling the episode.
— yatta (@ms_sweet76) March 12, 2018
The episode of Blackish ABC pulled, i really wanted to see that episode!!!
— dj (@usingthe_JOHN) March 12, 2018
@ABCNetwork pulled an episode of my current favorite show #blackish, citing "hot button topic" – athletes American right to #AnthemProtest. Dre sided with the athletes, as he should, so #ABC went full #DonaldTrump on the creatives and banned the episode. #BoycottABC #Timesup
— CHNOrich (@ChnOrich) March 11, 2018
Blackish and Carmichael show done had episodes pulled due to creative differences between producers and the networks. Ive only seen this happen with black shows
— Silva Zoldyck (@Supermari64) March 11, 2018