Four episodes of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock have been pulled from streaming services for featuring characters donning blackface. The decision to remove the episodes comes at the request of the show's creator, star and executive producer, Tina Fey, according to multiplereports.
In a letter penned by Fey -- along with executive producer Robert Carlock -- and sent to the media platforms streaming the sitcom, she requested that the episodes in question to be removed from availability.
"As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation," Fey said in a statement obtained by Variety. "I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused."
"Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness," Fey added. "I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request."
The episodes will reportedly be taken down by the end of the week, and will no longer be re-aired on television broadcasts.
The four episodes in question include "Believe In The Stars” (Season 3, Episode 2), "Christmas Attack Zone" (season 5, episode 10) and "Live from Studio 6H" (Season 6, episode 19).
The request also included the East Coast version of “The Live Show” (Season 5, Episode 4), which did not include any characters in blackface, and the West Coast version will not be taken down. As Vulture reports, the reason for this episode's removal is currently unspecified.
This news comes shortly after HBO Max announced they would be temporarily removing Gone From the Wind from their streaming catalog, until they include additional content providing historical context to the film's controversial depictions of slavery and the Civil War.