‘Black-ish’ National Anthem Episode Pulled Over Creative Difference w/ Kenya Barris
An upcoming episode of ‘Black-ish’ will never see the light of day. According to reports,
ABC indefinitely shelved a politically and socially themed episode over creative differences with showrunner Kenya Barris. The network has no plan at this time to air the episode.
The episode was titled “Please, Baby, Please,” and was to air Feb. 27. An ABC spokesperson confirmed that the episode had been pulled stating,
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. However, on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.
Barris also addressed the controversy stating,
Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it. 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.
The episode featured the family’s patriarch Dre (played by Anthony Anderson) caring for his infant son on the night of an intense thunderstorm that keeps the whole household awake. Dre attempts to read the baby a bedtime story, but abandons that plan when the baby continues to cry. He instead improvises a bedtime story that, over the course of the episode, conveys many of Dre’s concerns about the current state of the country.
The episode covers multiple political and social issues. In one scene, Dre and oldest son Junior (played by Marcus Scribner) argue over the rights of athletes to kneel during the performance of the national anthem at football games. No additional details about the creative differences that both parties had have been revealed.