Hulu Removes Episode of "The Golden Girls" Over Racial Insensitivity Concerns
Hulu recently removed an episode of The Golden Girls from their streaming platform over concerns that the episode depicted blackface, according to a report by MSN News.
The episode, first aired in 1988 as part of the TV show’s third season, is called “Mixed Blessings”, and follows Michael, Dorothy’s son, introducing the main characters to his fiancée, Lorraine.
In the episode, Dorothy is hesitant about her son and Lorraine’s marriage because of Lorraine’s older age. Lorraine’s family has concerns over her marrying a white man.
The reason that the episode had been removed is because it shows Rose (Betty White) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) in brown mud masks when introduced to Lorraine.
When Rose sees Lorraine, she informs her, "This is mud on our faces, we're not really Black."
The decision has already faced backlash, especially on Twitter, some saying that is an overreaction and takes away from more serious efforts at systematic change.
Author Roxanne Gay tweeted, in part, "Removing this episode is weird, counterproductive and stupid. It diminishes the effort to actually end racism. It’s just so dumb."
Most critics say that the removal of the episode seeks to solve a problem that wasn’t present to begin with.
Erica Williams Simon tweeted, "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..."
She also added, "To be clear: I’m not 'attacking' Hulu. I would just hate for the seriousness of this moment and movement to get lost in symbolic (and sometimes silly) overcorrections. Impact on real lives should be the measure of any change worthy of a PR push."
Other TV shows such as Community, The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock have all removed episodes or edited episodes over racial insensitivity concerns.
Read the full report here.