Fans of ABC's hit family sitcom black-ish were shocked in November 2017 when word got out that the network had decided to shelve an episode. At the time, no real details about what the episode could have contained were revealed, but the series had long been known to blend social and political issues with its humor, so the decision to keep one 30-minute installment away from audiences seemed baffling. Show creator Kenya Barris was able to convince the network to finally make "Please, Baby, Please" available since earlier this week, though, and audiences have been loving it.
But, as was seen across social media after people began watching the formerly long-lost black-ish episode, many were angered that it was withheld, or just plain confused about how it was supposed to be so controversial that it needed to be put on the shelf nearly three years ago. Kenya Barris appeared on The Daily Show recently, and when asked by host Trevor Noah why "Please, Baby, Please" came so close to never seeing the light of day, responded by saying "creative differences" led to the episode being set aside. But, he went on to elaborate, noting:
While Kenya Barris didn't sound as though he's even remotely annoyed by what happened at this point, there's little doubt that it must have stung mightily at the time. As he noted in his interview, by the time "Please, Baby, Please" was set to air, black-ish was already in its fourth season and had had a lot of episodes that talked about race, politics and other hot button issues. But, this particular episode was, as Barris admitted, a completely unflinching look at people's fears about the future, a year into the current presidential administration.
Without saying it directly, Barris seems to be confirming that Bob Iger was afraid of the potential blowback should the network air something which would have directly put the president, his administration and supporters on blast, especially at a time when there was already so much strife and when Iger was trying to keep things as minimally controversial as possible for Big Business reasons.
While it sounds like Iger and other executives at ABC understood, and even agreed with where Barris was coming from with the content of the episode, they did want changes. Barris didn't say what those changes would have been, but he wasn't willing to make any of the compromises suggested, so they landed at a "respectful" impasse, and "Please, Baby, Please" was locked away. But, Barris does seem to believe that things have now ended in the right way, and appreciated what Iger had to say about the episode (and the controversy) before allowing it to stream on Hulu:
If you haven't seen the black-ish episode "Please, Baby, Please" yet, it's streaming on Hulu (along with the rest of the popular comedy) and is well worth a watch. For more on what's coming to the small screen soon, check out our guide to fall TV!
Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.
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