ABC Pulls Political 'Black-ish' Episode Over 'Creative Differences’

Although ABC's Black-ish has earned critical acclaim and awards for not shying away from touchy political and social subjects, one episode scheduled to air last month was pulled from the schedule for its handling of topics according to Variety. The network cited creative differences with showrunner Kenya Barris.

The episode "Please, Baby, Please" was supposed to air on Feb. 27. However, when ABC revealed its final schedule for that week on Feb. 22, the episode was replaced by a repeat. No additional details were announced.

“One of the things that has always made Black-ish so special is how it deftly examines delicate social issues in a way that simultaneously entertains and educates,” an ABC spokesperson told Variety Friday. “However, on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.”

Barris told Variety it was a mutual decision to drop the episode.

“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris told Variety. “Black-ish is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I’m so proud of the series.”

"Please, Baby, Please" had Dre (Anthony Anderson) reading to his infant son during the night of a thunderstorm. The baby starts to cry, so Dre decides to abandon the book. Instead, he creates his own story that reflects the political and social climate of the country. One scene included Dre arguing with his oldest son, Junior (Marcus Scribner), over athletes' rights to kneel during the National Anthem before football games.

Black-ish, which Barris created, is known for covering subjects usually ignored by most network sitcoms, including racism, the N-word, police brutality and President Donald Trump's election.

Now in its fourth season, the show has been showered with awards, including a Golden Globe for Tracee Ellis Ross and several Emmy nominations. In 2016 and 2017, it joined ABC's Modern Family as the only network sitcoms nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Barris also executive produces a spin-off, Grown-ish, which airs on Freeform.

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New episodes of Black-ish air on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal