Kenya Barris Breaks Silence On Axed Politically Charged Episode Of 'Black-ish'

PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Actors Yara Shahidi, Marsai Martin, Tracee Ellis Ross, writer Kenya Barris, host Anthony Anderson, Leyah Barris,  Miles Brown and Marcus Scribner accept the award for Outstanding Comedy Series for 'Black-ish', onstage during the 46th NAACP Image Awards presented by TV One at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Kenya Barris Breaks Silence On Axed Politically Charged Episode Of 'Black-ish'

The 'National Anthem' themed episode was set to shake things up.

Published March 14, 2018

ABC's hit sitcom Black-ish has quickly become known as the program that cleverly tackles, head-on, some of the most delicate and minority-affecting issues in America. While several of its episodes throughout the seasons have successfully executed this objective, one of the recent ones failed to please both the showrunner and the network, resulting in it being cut, completely, from the lineup.

The episode, titled "Please, Baby, Please," was originally set to air on February 27, with a plot line that saw the lead character, Dre (Anthony Anderson), tell his toddler son about the current state of the country in the form of a bedtime story.

According to Variety, the episode was eventually pulled the week before it was set to run and was, instead, replaced with a re-run. One of the reported discrepancies remained the discussion of the NFL's highly publicized #TakeTheKnee protests.

Speaking on the decision, the showrunner, Kenya Barris, said he and ABC mutually decided to can the episode.

"Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it," he told the publication. "Black-ish is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I'm proud of the series."

Echoing his sentiments, ABC released a statement of their own.

"One of the things that has always made black-ish so special is how it deftly examines delicate social issues in a way that simultaneously entertains and educates," it read. "However, on this episode, there were creative difference we were unable to resolve."

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)


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