Tina Fey has asked that four episodes of “30 Rock” be pulled from syndication and streaming services because they feature characters in blackface.
“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 wrote in a note obtained by TODAY.
“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.”
(NBCUniversal is also the parent company of NBC News.)
Fey created and starred in NBC’s Emmy-winning series.
In addition to no longer being in syndication or on streaming services, the episodes are also not available for purchase on iTunes and Google Play.
The show aired two episodes in which Jenna Maroney, played by Jane Krakowski, appears in blackface. In one episode, she does so to change identities with Tracy Morgan’s character, Tracy Jordan. In another, she appears as professional football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann in a parody of the movie “Black Swan.”
There is also an episode in which guest star Jon Hamm wore blackface while spoofing “Amos ‘n’ Andy.” The East Coast version of the series’ first "Live Show" from season 5 is also being pulled, although it’s not clear why it’s being removed, Vulture reported.
The decision to no longer offer these episodes follows HBO Max’s move to remove “Gone with the Wind” from its library due to its portrayal of slavery.
The streaming service later announced the film would return with an introduction by Jacqueline Stewart, the host of “Silent Sunday Nights” on Turner Classic Movies and professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.
"These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible," HBO Max said in a statement announcing the film’s return.