Pulled ‘Black-ish’ Episode About Politics, Race Finally Made Available on Hulu

Reid Nakamura
·3 min read

The canned episode of “Black-ish” that led to a dispute between Disney and creator Kenya Barris, and Barris eventually decamping for a new deal at Netflix, has been finally made available to watch on Hulu.

Originally scheduled to air in February 2018, the episode titled “Please, Baby, Please” was shelved by the network just days before its scheduled airdate due to concerns about “partisanship,” Barris said at the time. The episode sees Dre (Anthony Anderson) telling his son, Devante, a bedtime story, about the past year (and first year) of Devante’s life, which includes the first year of the Donald Trump presidency, the Charlottesville attacks and NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

“We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future,” Barris said in a statement on Monday. “Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. ‘Please, Baby, Please’ didn’t make it to air that season and, while much has been speculated about its contents, the episode has never been seen publicly… until now.”

Also Read: 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris: I Left Disney for Netflix Over Shelved Anti-Trump Episode

Barris said Disney TV accommodated his request to make the episode available following the re-airing of “Juneteenth” and “Hope” in the wake of renewed Black Lives Matter protests in recent months.

“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together,” he said.

The dispute over “Please, Baby, Please” led Barris to exit his overall deal with ABC Studios early, a decision he pegged to a strained working relationship with then-Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood in a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“I’m aware when my things aren’t good,” he said at the time. “But I’d [gladly] have a forum and show these pilots to the world. If I’m crazy, judge me. I’ve done things where I’m like, ‘Ugh, that wasn’t right,’ these were not that. And it just becomes so frustrating.”

Also Read: Kenya Barris' '#blackAF' Renewed for Season 2 by Netflix

Read Barris’ full statement below.

In November 2017, we made an episode of “black-ish” entitled “Please, Baby, Please.” We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future. Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. “Please, Baby, Please” didn’t make it to air that season and, while much has been speculated about its contents, the episode has never been seen publicly… until now.

I’m excited to share that “Please, Baby, Please” is now available on Hulu. Following the re-airing of “Juneteenth” and “Hope,” I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available. Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed.

I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together.

Thank you to ABC Entertainment for allowing this moment to happen. And thank you to the entire “black-ish” family for never shying away from tough conversations, making telling stories like this possible.

-Kenya Barris

Read original story Pulled ‘Black-ish’ Episode About Politics, Race Finally Made Available on Hulu At TheWrap