Yesterday, June 22nd, Tina Fey and former 30 Rock showrunner Robert Carlock requested to remove four 30 Rock episodes that feature blackface from streaming services, TV syndication, and purchase platforms iTunes and Google Play. Fey released a statement apologizing for ever allowing blackface plots to come to fruition, which she sent to companies that stream and sell the NBCUniversal-held show.
“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 said. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images.”
Fey continued, “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.
She ended her statement by thanking NBCUniversal for honoring her request.
Two episodes that have already been scrubbed, per Vulture, revolve around Jane Krakowski’s Jenna Maroney, who wore blackface in 30 Rock Season 3 and Season 5. In the former episode, Jenna traded places with Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) to prove a point about sexism, and, in the latter, she posed as former Pittsburgh Steelers player Lynn Swann.
NBCUniversal will also remove the live episode from 30 Rock’s sixth season in which Jon Hamm donned blackface in a bit about the wildly racist radio and television show Amos ’n’ Andy, as well as the East Coast version of the first live 30 Rock episode in Season 5, which included a Fox News spoof in which Barack Obama was referred to as “Kenyan Liar.”
Fey’s request comes on the heels of an announcement that she and her fellow 30 Rock costars will reprise their roles for a live TV special set to air next month.