Netflix Has Removed A ‘Hurtful’ Scene From ‘The Office’ That Includes A Character In Blackface

Episodes of 30 Rock and Scrubs with “actors in race-changing makeup” were pulled from streaming services and reruns earlier this week, and now Netflix has removed the “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” episode of Community where Chang paints his face black to play Dungeons & Dragons as a “dark elf or a drow.” The streaming service has also quietly uploaded an edited version of The Office season nine episode “Dwight Christmas” to replace the scene in which Dunder Mifflin warehouse worker Nate (played by What We Do in the Shadows standout Mark Proksch) can be seen in blackface.

In the episode, Dwight tells his co-workers about German gift-bringer Belsnickel, who Oscar discovers has a partner named Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter, “a slave boy often portrayed in colorful pantaloons and blackface.” After Stanley responds with understandable disgust, Dwight replies, “Oh, come on. We don’t blindly stick to every outmoded aspect of our traditions. Come on, get with the spirit of it, you guys.” He then texts/warns Nate, dressed as “Black Peter,” who hurries back to his car before anyone can see him. Dwight talking about Belsnickel remains; Nate in blackface is now gone:

The old version of Episode 909, titled “Dwight Christmas,” has been replaced by the new cut on Netflix — The Office’s streaming home until 2021, when the show moves over to NBCUniversal’s Peacock — and other streaming platforms where it is available for purchase. The new cut is also replacing the original for its syndication airings on Comedy Central and other channels.

The Office is about a group of people trying to work together with mutual respect despite the inappropriate actions of their boss and assistant manager,” The Office co-creator Greg Daniels said in a statement. “The show employed satire to expose unacceptable behavior and deliver a message of inclusion. Today we cut a shot of an actor wearing blackface that was used to criticize a specific racist European practice. Blackface is unacceptable and making the point so graphically is hurtful and wrong. I am sorry for the pain that caused.” At least no one saw the original scene, because no one has actually watched the Michael Scott-less ninth season of The Office.

(Via the Wrap)