Political 'black-ish' episode gets belated home | Inquirer Entertainment
Close  

Politically charged ‘black-ish’ episode gets belated home

/ 10:24 AM August 11, 2020
Kenya Barris 'black-ish'

Kenya Barris, series creator of “black-ish,” arrives at the ACLU SoCal’s Bill of Rights Dinner on Nov. 11, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. A politically charged episode of “black-ish” from 2017 that was shelved by ABC has found a home on the streaming service Hulu. Image: Invision/Richard Shotwell via AP

A politically charged episode of “black-ish” from 2017 that was shelved by ABC has found a home on Hulu, a corporate sibling of the Disney-owned broadcast network.

“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves,” series creator Kenya Barris posted Monday, Aug. 10, on social media.

ADVERTISEMENT

Barris said he hopes the half-hour episode, titled “Please Baby Please”, fulfills its original intent: to inspire vital dialogue about “where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together.”

He asked producer Walt Disney Television to reconsider making the episode available and, in recognition of “the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed,” he said.

FEATURED STORIES

The network and a representative for Barris did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

The change of heart comes amid ongoing protests and calls for broad social change prompted by the death in May of George Floyd, a Black man, while in Minneapolis police custody.

When ABC decided to pull the episode from the 2017-18 season and put it on ice, the network lauded “black-ish” for its deft examination of “delicate social issues” in an entertaining and educational manner. But “creative differences” over the episode couldn’t be resolved, ABC said.

The Emmy-nominated series has tackled thorny social issues during its ABC run, which began in 2014. That a streaming platform was deemed suitable for “Please Baby Please” reflects the creative freedom producers can gain outside the traditional confines of broadcasting.

Barris remains executive producer of “black-ish” (and its spin-offs, ABC’s “mixed-ish” and Freeform’s “grown-ish”). But he is making new shows, including the edgy family comedy “#BlackAF”, as part of a production deal with streamer Netflix.

“Please Baby Please” joins the “black-ish” library of past seasons on Hulu.

The episode revolves around a sleepless night in the household of Dre and Rainbow Johnson (Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross). To calm his infant son during a storm, Dre begins by reading a children’s book — the Spike Lee-Tonya Lewis Lee work of the episode’s title — then shares his own anxieties.

ADVERTISEMENT

As Dre offers up an improvised fable, it’s the actions of the then-fledgling Trump administration that are identified as part of his unease. His monologue includes a thinly veiled reference to “the shady king.”

The episode widens out to look at deep social divisions that Dre says followed the election of America’s first Black president, Barack Obama, and the eye-opening revelation that “not everyone’s a fan” of change, as the character puts it.

“Daddy’s scared too… Everything’s so crazy now,” Dre says softly to his son at one point.

Through imagery and concerns expressed by other family members, the episode touches on issues besides racism, including mass shootings, climate change and gay rights.

“Black-ish” has four nominations for next month’s Emmys on ABC, including lead actor nods for Anderson and Ross. CC

RELATED STORIES: 

Spinoff of ABC’s ‘black-ish’ to focus on mixed-race issues 

‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris divorcing wife of 20 years 

The hottest entertainment news straight to your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ABC Entertainment, Black-ish, Hulu, Kenya Barris, Sitcoms
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.