Trump, America’s ‘shady king’? A long-shelved ‘black-ish’ episode is now on Hulu
An unaired episode of ABC’s “black-ish” featuring a reference to President Trump as America’s “shady king,” NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem and numerous other hot-button political issues, which was pulled by the network in 2018, is now streaming on Hulu, series creator Kenya Barris announced on Twitter on Monday.
The episode, “Please, Baby, Please,” also touches on the white supremacist rally and subsequent violence in Charlottesville, Va., and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, both in 2017. It follows the series’ protagonist-narrator Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) as he reads a bedtime story to his youngest child — and discusses the scary state of the world with the rest of the Johnsons on a stormy night. Barris has said that ABC yanked the episode days before its scheduled broadcast because of “creative differences.”
Barris said that Hulu was making the episode, listed as “S4 E99" of “black-ish” on the platform, available after the reairing of two other politically charged episodes, “Juneteenth” and “Hope.” He had requested that Walt Disney Television, the studio that produces the family comedy, make “Please, Baby, Please” available: “Recognizing the importance of this moment, they agreed.”
Slavery’s end has been commemorated by Black Americans for generations. But on “Atlanta” and “black-ish,” Juneteenth went mainstream.
Barris in his statement said, “In November, 2017, we made an episode of ‘black-ish’ entitled ‘Please, Baby, Please.’ We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future. Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. “
He added, “I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward, and, most importantly, how we get there together.”
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.