The Golden Girls is getting a brand new chapter as Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina King, Sanaa Lathan and Alfre Woodard come to recreate the classic sitcom with an all-Black cast. The actresses announced the project Monday, sharing a video of the original cast with their heads superimposed on the original actresses' bodies — Lathan on Blanche, King on Dorothy, Ross on Rose and Woodard on Sophia — for the first Zoom Where it Happens episode.
"Join us for an evening that takes a look back to the sitcoms of yesteryear- Before you could pause your screens or binge watch. We bring to you our rendition of Golden Girls, reimagined with an all-Black cast of your favorite actresses," the event's page read. The reimagining is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and hosted by Lena Waithe.
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A virtual watch party for the recreation is set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET on Zoom. "The first episode is spotlighting and supporting Color of Change - the nation's largest online racial justice organization," the event page reads, alluding to other episodes coming down the pipeline, although it's unclear if it will be more episodes of The Golden Girls reboot or other beloved sitcoms reimagined with a different cast. All people need to do to tune in is sign up to receive messages "about how you can make a change during this election!"
News of the revival earned praise from some of Hollywood's biggest names. Kerry Washington gave the announcement a round of applause with several clapping emojis, while Halle Berry wrote, "Yes please!" Ava DuVernay added the hands up emoji to her comment, while Ashley Platz commented her own clapping hands.
The news comes just months after Hulu removed an episode of The Golden Girls reportedly over concerns of blackface. In the 1988 episode of the sitcom "Mixed Blessing," Michael (Scott Jacoby), the son of Dorothy (Bea Arthur), plans to marry an older Black woman, Lorraine (Rosalind Cash), according to USA Today. When Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and Rose (Betty White) greet Lorraine, they are wearing mud masks, at which point Rose says, "This is mud on our faces. We’re not really black."
It was just one of the many sitcoms to remove episodes over blackface concerns. In June, NBCUniversal removed four episodes of 30 Rock including characters in blackface at the request of show creator Tina Fey and co-showrunner Robert Carlock. That same week, The Office creator Greg Daniels had cut a blackface scene in a 2012 episode and Netflix and Hulu pulled an episode from Community in which Ken Jeong’s character appears in blackface.