Fearing a potential backlash from Black folk, Hulu earned itself some eye-rolls from fans of the classic comedy sitcom Golden Girls after pulling one of the show’s hilarious episodes.
No one asked for this.
That’s what Black Twitter is saying after the streaming platform got a bit overzealous and pulled the Golden Girl’s episode titled “Mixed Blessings.” The episode which aired back in 1988 on NBC focused around Dorothy (Beatrice Arthur) not being happy with the fact that her son was marrying an older Black woman named Lorraine (Rosalind Cash). Meanwhile, Lorraine’s mother, played by Virginia Capers, is not pleased that her daughter is marrying a white man.
The “incident” in question involves the characters Rose (Betty White) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) who happen to be wearing mud masks in the scene as they greeted Lorraine and her mother. Rose explains, “This is mud on our faces. We’re not really Black.”
Black Twitter immediately balked at the decision pointing out that Hulu clearly overreacted and doesn’t know the difference between a mud mask and Blackface. Writer Roxanne Gay called the decision “counterproductive and stupid.”
Erica Williams, a popular podcaster added:
“First of all, they were in mud masks not Blackface. And second of all, in what world does ‘Stop killing us’ sound like ‘Please remove episodes of Golden Girls’? I didn’t see that ask on anyone’s protest sign.”
Hulu’s actions come on the heels of other shows atoning for using Blackface. The Office pulled an episode titled Dwight Christmas that featured Stanley (Leslie David Baker) not too pleased at the idea of Dwight (Rainn Wilson) dressing up as Belsnickel’ (German Santa Clause) assistant, Black Peter. Dwight secretly calls his friend, who is donning Blackface, and tells him not to come to the office.
The show’s creator Greg Daniels spoke on the episode stating:
“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 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.”
Another classic sitcom, Community, also pulled an episode from season 2 titled Advanced Dungeons & Dragons from its Netflix library. In it, Ken Jeong’s character, Ben Chang, played the role of a dark elf from the classic game and covered himself entirely in black paint. Chang then says, “this is going to be awesome yo,” Shirley, a Black character, replies, “So we’re just going to ignore that hate crime, huh?”
You can peep the reactions to Hulu’s ridiculous decision in the gallery below.
Photo: Ron Davis / Getty