Less than a week after removing three episodes of the hit comedy-drama sitcom Scrubs from its platform, American streaming service Hulu has pulled an episode of The Golden Girls for the same reason: blackface concerns.
Though Scrubs included scenes that feature some of the series’ main characters in black face paint, Golden Girls had one episode in 1988 where lead actors Betty White and the late Rue McClanahan can be seen wearing mud masks, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It’s currently unclear why Mixed Blessings (Season 3, Episode 23) was removed, however, in the episode, White — who played Rose Nylund — did make a joke referencing blackface.
“This is mud on our faces, we’re not really Black,” says Rose, as she and Blanche (McClanahan) walk into the same room as Dorothy’s (Beatrice Arthur) soon-to-be daughter-in-law Lorraine — a Black woman played by Rosalind Cash — and her family.
Global News has reached out to Hulu seeking comment.
“Perfect example of white guilt knee-jerking into reactionary performative allyship,” wrote one Twitter user in response to the news. “This isn’t even blackface.
“No Black person in America is offended by the joke in this episode.”
Here’s what some other Twitter users had to say:
Dear @hulu put the episode back on. Blanche and Rose weren't doing black face, and that episode is one of my faves. The golden girls don't need this performative treatment.
An actual Black person
— African Aunty (@The_ninety8) June 29, 2020
hulu removing the episode of the golden girls with mud masks is incredibly stupid but also they remove that one and not the episode of designing women where susanne legitimately wore blackface? like what?
— ✨Jade✨ (@SnowyNebula94) June 29, 2020
Hey Hulu we know the difference between a mud mask and blackface. You can put that episode of Golden Girls back up. 👍🏾
— Glenton Richards 🥁 (@glentonrich) June 29, 2020
— JHBG (@newgardens77) June 29, 2020
The Golden Girls is literally one of my favorite shows. I’ve seen the episode a million times, it ain’t black face. Byeee 😭 like y’all doing everything but what we’re asking for.
— Bri💕 (@bridanielle_) June 29, 2020
The fact that y’all took down that episode of Golden Girls is almost insulting. As if black people don’t know the difference between mud masks and black face. Y’all do everything except what we actually asked for.
— KyraTheePony (@KyraBrigh) June 29, 2020
It rubs me the wrong way that a Golden Girls episode was removed for blackface, but they were mud masks….
— Padawan Teez (@TeezNextDoor) June 29, 2020
Hulu’s removal of Mixed Blessings and three Scrubs episodes follows a wave of similar adjustments in the film and television industry over the last few weeks, inspired by protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality triggered by the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis.
Affected TV shows include 30 Rock — which also featured characters in blackface — and South Park, both of which had episodes removed or omitted from streaming services, as well as the cancellation of Cops and Live PD.
The two smash-hit police/crime series ceased production and were dropped by their respective networks earlier this month.
The worldwide protests — led by the Black Lives Matter movement — also inspired HBO Max to re-release Gone With the Wind with a new introduction that includes Black scholar and television host Jacqueline Stewart adding historical context to the film for the viewer.
The 1939 classic film has been long criticized for romanticizing slavery and the Civil War-era American South.
The episode in question, The Germans, originally aired in 1975 and included a number of racist remarks from recurring character Major Gowen, who used multiple slurs to describe both the West Indies and India cricket teams.
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