All the TV shows removed from Netflix, HBO Max and other platforms over blackface controversy

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, a number of problematic episodes have been removed from streamers – here's a full list of what you can no longer watch.

Scrubs cast

With global Black Lives Matter protests raising awareness of systematic racism and demanding action, the TV and film industry has seen a number of changes in the last few weeks.

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While various white actors are stepping down from voicing mixed-race roles for future shows, streaming platforms have begun removing past series which contain blackface or feature racist depictions.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and a number of big streamers have removed various episodes (and sometimes whole series) of shows deemed to be racially problematic, from Scrubs and 30 Rock to Little Britain and The League of Gentleman.

Here’s a full list of all the shows that have been removed or had episodes pulled and to what extent they no longer exist on certain platforms…

Ava Vidal for RadioTimes.com: Blackface “is never just a joke” 

30 Rock

30 Rock cast
30 Rock cast
Getty

Removed from: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play

Numerous episodes of Tina Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock have been removed from various streaming sites and pulled from broadcast circulation.

Four episodes within the series, which ran from 2006 until 2013, featured actors wearing blackface makeup.

Fey explained the decision to pull the episodes in a statement, apologising for the pain they had caused some viewers. “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.”

“I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images,” she added.

Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers
Fawlty Towers
BBC

Removed from: UKTV

An episode of classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers containing a racial slur has been temporarily removed from catch-up service UKTV.

First airing in October 1975, the episode titled The Germans was best known for the scene in which Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) proclaims, “Don’t mention the war!” whilst goose-stepping throughout his hotel.

A spokesperson for UKTV told RadioTimes.com: “UKTV has temporarily removed an episode of Fawlty Towers ‘The Germans’ from Gold’s Box Set. The episode contains racial slurs so we are taking the episode down while we review it. We regularly review older content to ensure it meets audience expectations and are particularly aware of the impact of outdated language. Some shows carry warnings and others are edited. We want to take time to consider our options for this episode.”

Peep Show

Peep Show
Peep Show
Channel 4

Removed from: Netflix

A scene from the series two episode Dance Class in which Jez (Robert Webb) wears blackface has been removed from Netflix – although an edited version of the episode still remains.

However the scene has not yet been removed from All4 – with the channel claiming that it is currently in the process of “undertaking a review of the principles governing how we handle historic programmes across our platforms”, as reported by Metro.

Scrubs

The cast of Scrubs
The cast of Scrubs
Getty Images

Removed from: Hulu

US streaming site Hulu has pulled three episodes of the medical sitcom, according to The Wrap.

The episodes contain scenes where JD (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison) attend a party in blackface and whiteface, while in another episode, Elliot (Sarah Chalke) is seen wearing blackface during a fantasy sequence.

Series creator Bill Lawrence tweeted days before that he was in the process of having the episodes removed.

RadioTimes.com has reached out to Hulu for comment.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Netflix

Removed from: Netflix

Netflix has removed episodes of comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia which feature characters in blackface.

An episode titled Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth – the sixth episode of season two – is no longer available on the streamer, according to Metro.co.uk.

RadioTimes.com has reached out to Netflix for comment.

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind

Removed from: HBO Max

American streaming site HBO Max has temporarily removed Civil War drama Gone with the Wind from its service for featuring “racist depictions.”

Starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, the 1939 epic won Best Pictures at the Oscars that year but has long been criticised as a film that romanticises racist Confederacy and perpetuates painful stereotypes.

An HBO spokesperson told RadioTimes.com: “Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.”

“These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”

The Mighty Boosh

The Mighty Boosh Noel Fielding Julian Barratt
Credit: BBC

Removed from: Netflix

Netflix removed all three series of this wacky BBC Three show earlier this month.

Starring Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding, the comedy featured a number of episodes in which Fielding wore dreadlocks, a white suit and black and white face paint to portray The Spirit of Jazz/Howlin’ Jimmy Jefferson – the ghost of a famous jazz musician.

The League of Gentlemen

League of Gentlemen, BBC Pictures, SL
League of Gentlemen, BBC Pictures, SL

Removed from: Netflix

Netflix also removed the whole of this BBC Two series, which starred Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith as multiple characters.

The show, which ran from 1999 until 2002, featured various episodes in which Shearsmith played Papa Lazarou – a demonic carnival ringmaster who collects wives.

Little Britain

Little Britain – blackface
Little Britain – blackface
BBC

Removed from: BBC iPlayer, Netflix, BritBox

BBC iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox all removed Little Britain from their services earlier this month.

The BBC sketch show, which ran from 2003 until 2007, featured various scenes in which David Walliams wore a black fat suit, wig and prosthetics to play health retreat guest Desiree Devere.

The comedy duo have since apologised for playing characters of different ethnic backgrounds, with Matt Lucas writing on Twitter: “David and I have both spoken publicly in recent years of our regret that we played characters of other races. Once again we want to make it clear that it was wrong and we are very sorry.”

Come Fly with Me

Come Fly With Me Matt Lucas David Walliams
Credit: BBC

Removed from: Netflix, BBC iPlayer

Netflix and BBC iPlayer recently removed this other sketch show from David Walliams and Matt Lucas.

The show, which ran for just one series in 2010, featured Walliams in dark make-up when playing liaison officer Moses Beacon and airline mogul Omar Baba, while Lucas wore black face for his character Precious Little.

Jonah from Tonga

Jonah from Tonga
Credit: BBC Three

Removed from: Netflix Australia, Netflix New Zealand

Netflix in Australia and New Zealand has removed this Chris Lilley mockumentary from its platform.

The series attracted criticism due to Lilley’s use of brownface make-up when playing Tongan child Jonah Takalua and for his portrayal of Tongans generally.

Angry Boys

Angry Boys
Credit: BBC Three

Removed from: Netflix Australia, Netflix New Zealand

Netflix has also made another Chris Lilley series unavailable for users in Australia and New Zealand.

Angry Boys stars the Australian comedian as six different characters, including an African American rapper and a Japanese housewife.

Summer Heights High

Summer Heights High
Credit: BBC Three

Removed from: Netflix Australia, Netflix New Zealand

Summer Heights High has also been removed from Netflix in Australia and New Zealand.

Another Chris Lilley comedy, the series features the comedian as teacher Mr G, transfer student Jamie and troubled kid Jonah.

Again, it was Lilley’s use of brownface when in character as Jonah which has faced criticism.

We Can Be Heroes

We Can Be Heroes
Credit: BBC Three

Removed from: Netflix Australia, Netflix New Zealand

Chris Lilley’s first mockumentary has been removed from Netflix in Australia and New Zealand.

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The 2005 comedy stars the comedian as five characters, including a Chinese physics student.

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