News anchor Megyn Kelly has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the NBC sitcom 30 Rock. The series recently had four episodes pulled from syndication and streaming due to their depiction of characters in blackface. In a tweet on Tuesday, Kelly quote-tweeted an article from Variety before adding a scathing remark directed at the network.
Kelly's tweet is a reference to her famously being ousted from her position at NBC in 2018 after remarks defending the use of blackface. Her exit was announced after she made on-camera comments she made toward a panel of guests discussing racism in universities. "But what is racist? Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween," Kelly said. "Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as like a character."
Wait - what network aired those episodes again? https://t.co/PaUoxkVC6S— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 23, 2020
NBC announced that Kelly had been dismissed on Oct. 26, 2018, and her TODAY show hour was canceled after severe backlash over her remarks. She was replaced by former co-anchors Craig Melvin, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker. Kelly later apologized for her comments, but NBC's current handling of 30 Rock brought the situation back to the surface.
On Tuesday, 30 Rock creator and star Tina Fey had penned a letter asking that the four episodes be removed, according to Variety. The memo was co-signed by collaborator Robert Carlock as well as NBC executives. "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," read the memo. "I understand now that 'intent' is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for the pain they have caused."
The four episodes in question are "Believe In The Stars" (Season 3, Episode 2), "Christmas Attack Zone" (Season 5, Episode 10), "Live from Studio 6H" (Season 6, Episode 19), and the East Coast version of "The Live Show" (Season 5, Episode 4), which originally aired between 2009 and 2012, will no longer air in syndication or appear on any streaming service. This change includes NBC's own streaming service, Peacock, which launches on July 15.