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
everyone: defund the police— we need a socialist city council to defund NYPD (@aaronnarraph) June 28, 2020
mayors: yes we’ll rename streets and paint murals
everyone: no we said de—
celebrities: ok we’ll stop voicing cartoon characters
everyone: that’s not wh—
hulu: fine we’ll remove the golden girls episode with mud masks
everyone: what is happening
I like how they think Black people don’t know our Golden Girls.— ⚖️Imani Gandy ⚖️ (@AngryBlackLady) June 28, 2020
Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche are the least problematic white women in all of television which is fairly impressive considering that show was on air in the goddamn mid-80s https://t.co/jPk8sJlh0w
Brands removing their problematic episodes feels like a way of equating Black Lives Matter with "cancel culture" to delegitimise the movement and court outrage. I haven't seen one placard in these marches saying "REMOVE EPISODE 323 OF THE GOLDEN GIRLS FROM HULU"— Hamish Steele (@hamishsteele) June 28, 2020
BLACK COMMUNITY: Please don’t let the police kill us— Poli Sci Bitches (@poliscibitches) June 28, 2020
WHITE PEOPLE: Got it. Cancel Golden Girls. https://t.co/gvfQAckSQB
omg. okay, THEY WERE NOT EVEN IN BLACKFACE IN THAT EPISODE. i don't even need to read it to know which one they're talking about. Dorothy and the girls found out her son, Michael, was marrying a black woman. Blanche and Rose were wearing mud masks, PLEASE. #GoldenGirls— Kᴇʟɪᴀʜ Sᴀɪᴅ KAMALA HARRIS WAS ALWAYS RIGHT (@RealKDPFan4Eva) June 28, 2020
LIKE PLS https://t.co/dSAJ5N7yn7
I just think it’s funny that the creators of the Golden Girls had more sense in the 80s than Tina Fey had in the 2010s— ⚖️Imani Gandy ⚖️ (@AngryBlackLady) June 28, 2020
Perfect example of white guilt knee-jerking into reactionary performative allyship.— Rafi D'Angelo (@RafiDAngelo) June 28, 2020
This isn't even blackface. No Black person in America is offended by the joke in this episode.https://t.co/QkgSINoErM
Y’all pulled that Golden Girls episode that wasn’t even blackface. Right now it’s feels very much like the entertainment industry and culpable white people within it are using these performative gestures to get out of doing the work that needs to be done.— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) June 28, 2020
doing everything in their power to make BLM look petty and annoying so people will shut up about it.. y’all know what we want and this is not it... https://t.co/UGKIPzw0JY— ✨𝕥𝕖𝕧✨ (@omfgtev) June 28, 2020
We went from talking about Police Reform to wanting to tear down Lincoln statues and mud mask episodes of the Golden Girls— Branson Taylor (@Btaylor74) June 29, 2020
The fuck is wrong with these ppl man
I haven’t heard one person, not a one, have ‘Remove the episode of The Golden Girls, in which characters wear mud face masks ‘— Anthony V. Clark (@anthonyvclark20) June 29, 2020
as a demand.
Y’all doing everything else but change! https://t.co/bd9RRSrmKE