Soul was released on Disney+ last week, and the reviews have been positive. However, it didn't take long for fans to bring up the controversy surrounding Tina Fey and the NBC show 30 Rock. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Fey, who was an executive producer on 30 Rock, requested four of the episodes be removed from streaming services. Of the four episodes, two of them include Jane Krakowski's Jenna character in blackface.
"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," Fey wrote on a little to the streaming platforms, as reported by Vulture in June. "I understand now that 'intent' is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request."
When Soul was released, fans noticed that Fey voiced the main character for nearly half of the movie, and the main character is Black. That didn't sit well with most, and they expressed their frustration on social media.
as much as i had fun with that movie i literally thought 'hm but... but why... who thought 'white woman voices black man' is ok?' multiple times— Alex (netverk) 🌃🌠 (@netverk_) December 27, 2020
Tina Fey scrubs away 4 episodes of “30 Rock” featuring blackface yet manages to miss the 120 minutes she does so in “Soul”— Zach Faust (@zach_faust) December 29, 2020
So nobody is gonna talk about Tina Fey voicing a black man?
As in 30 rock black face Tina fey
Oooookkkkaaaaaayyyyy 😬👀— K A Y O D E (@teekayoki) December 28, 2020
yes i watched soul and loved it no i did not forget about tina fey writing blackface into 30 rock— holiday armadillo (@auroraboreatlas) December 26, 2020
i admittedly didn't realize it was even tina fey until reading stuff afterward. the 30 rock/blackface stuff makes it awkward. 😬— Les (@yrlibrarypal) December 30, 2020
Tina Fey erased all the blackface episodes of 30 Rock so people couldn't do memes with her character arc in SOUL.— Lance St. Laurent (@LanceStLaurent) December 29, 2020
The other movies where they did the animal thing were good & two of them were really moving too. Just... why tf is it like the only plot they can come up with for these movies
Also: didn't Tina Fey have blackface put into a 30 Rock episode???— 💀 O t a r 🧪 (@OtarOddball) December 26, 2020
Not only does he get transformed into a blue soul, but (SPOILER) he also loses control of his body to Tina Fey’s character for a large part of the movie. It felt like a 21st century version of Blackface to me... And she already had racist moments in 30 Rock and Kimmy Schmidt.— Super Freddy Art 🏳️🌈 ✊🏾💥 ⚡️ (@SuperFreddyArt) December 26, 2020
Watched #SoulMovie again and I loved it. And yet, predictably, woke Twitter is losing their s**t and calling Tina Fey a racist for her character inhabiting the body of Joe Gardner for a portion of the film. Is this still about the 30 Rock blackface? Not this again #WokeIsAJoke— Jared Schnabl (@JaredSchnabl) December 27, 2020
he wasn't blue for too much at all... but he was a cat and then tina fey was in his body instead >:/ which is so wrong on so many levels after she had to apologize for like. what. FIVE instances of blackface in 30 rock alone was it??— marty is this 👌🏼 close (@MartyBellvue) December 26, 2020