Last week saw a number of shows pull episodes from online and reruns due to instances of blackface. Among them were 30 Rock, which yanked four episodes, Scrubs, which had three, and The Office, which had one. Now Community joins the group: As per Deadline, one episode of the cult comedy has been removed from Netflix and Hulu.
The episode in question is Season 2’s “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” in which the gang play the titular game, with Abed as Dungeon Master. The offending scene involves Ken Jeong’s Ben Chang, who shows up to the session wearing black make-up and a white wig. Yvette Nicole Brown’s Shirley asks the group, “So, we’re just going to ignore that hate crime, huh?”, to which Ben responds, “I’m a dark elf or a drow,” and that he’s trying to get into the mind of his character, Brutalitops the Magician. He continues to play the game in blackface until he’s eliminated.
So, uh, that’s a lot of blackface, not all that long ago and often located on NBC! Dan Harmon, the show’s creator, has yet to publicly address the episode’s racially charged content, although The Office creator Greg Daniels did speak up when the episode of his show was excised, apologizing by saying, “Blackface is unacceptable and making the point so graphically is hurtful and wrong. I am sorry for the pain that caused.”