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Adult Swim Confirms Controversial Episodes Of Aqua Teen Hunger Force And More Were Removed From Streaming

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Since its inception in 2001, Adult Swim has been known for producing some truly weird and unpredictable shows, and it's fair to say that the animation block was responsible for some controversial programming over the years. Usually, such scandalous circumstances are barely addressed by the company or its parent network, but Adult Swim did finally address the fact that certain episodes from beloved shows such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Boondocks aren't available to stream on HBO Max with the rest of the eps, and confirmed they won't be returning any time soon.

To start on the anthropomorphic food side of things, Aqua Teen Hunger Force fans rather quickly noticed that the animated comedy's presence on HBO Max was not a complete one, and that it was missing a couple of episodes. One being the unaired Season 5 installment "Boston," which parodied the 2007 bombing scare tied to Aqua Teen's LED display promotions, and the other being Season 6's "Shake Like Me," which featured a radioactive Black man biting Master Shake and turning him into a walking stereotype. It was basically the animated equivalent of blackface, what with Master Shake being an all-white cup.

Adult Swim also confirmed that an arguably offensive episode from Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks was intentionally withheld from being added to HBO Max's streaming library. Season 3's "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" centered on Uncle Ruckus' kinship with an overtly racist country-and-western singer, where just about everything about the character was reprehensible in some way. Both "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" and "Shake Like Me" may very well only be available via previously produced DVD/Blu-ray sets. Here's how Adult Swim put it to The Daily Beast:

Neither of those episodes are part of our streaming deals. [Both episodes were] permanently retired due to cultural sensitivities.

It's a similar situation to how streaming services and networks dropped particular episodes of popular shows a few month ago over scenes featuring white characters in blackface. Granted, those were all live-action and involved humans rather than ice cream drinks, but that doesn't make Aqua Teen's humor joke tons more worthy of genuine appreciated. Adult Swim defended its decision to remove episodes form other streaming platforms with the following explanation:

When Adult Swim transitions series to a new platform, we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies. Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show’s creators.

Finally, Adult Swim also confirmed it has removed an episode of the more recent and more haunting stop-motion animation series The Shivering Truth from the network's website. The Season 1 episode "Ogled Inklings," which features a newly birthed cop being called a "dirty pig" – right on par for this show – has been "temporarily rested" and is no longer available on Adult Swim's website. However, the spokesperson did say that particular episode will be reinstated once The Shivering Truth hits its streaming window on HBO Max.

To say nothing of the moral issues at play here, fans have already complained about eps being missing, especially since HBO Max touts full series runs for Aqua Teen and Boondocks, despite obviously not having everything available for streaming. So for anyone who feels that those episodes are absolutely necessary, I'd suggest tracking down the DVD sets before those start getting modified as well.

While waiting to hear more updates about this matter, and about HBO Max's upcoming Boondocks reboot, stay tuned to CinemaBlend and head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows will be on the way soon.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.