An episode of 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' has been pulled from Netflix, presumably owing to its heavy usage of blackface.
'Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth' is the ninth episode of the sixth season, and features a number of blackface moments as the gang film a new version of 'Lethal Weapon 5', an amateur movie made by the gang where Mac plays the role of Roger Murtaugh, played in real life by Danny Glover.
The episode also features a brief discussion on whether or not blackface is racist. However, 'The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6' from Season 9 is still available on the service and is essentially a sequel episode to 'Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth'.
That episode features Mac in blackface once again playing the role of Roger Murtaugh, as well as Dee Reynolds - played by Kaitlin Olson - also in blackface.
Netflix has not yet commented on the missing episode, nor has any of the cast from the show either. There's been growing consternation over whether or not television broadcasters are correct to censor and remove controversial or racist segments from classic TV shows. 'Fawlty Towers', for example, was under scrutiny recently for an episode, filmed in 1975, featured racial slurs. Likewise, 'Little Britain' was pulled from Netflix and BBC iPlayer over its use of blackface in certain segments.
No black person went on to the streets to protest because of Fawlty Towers.
Drop us out of your culture war conversation.
— Machel St Patrick Hewitt (@MashStPaddy) June 12, 2020
This. 👇🏿 The whole debate about racism and Black Lives Matter is getting hijacked and buried by temporarily boarded up statues and a reinstated episode of Fawlty Towers. Yet another distraction rears its head to move people away from the point. Funny how that always happens... https://t.co/xBxdmhZ5Hy
— Aunty Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) June 13, 2020
However, some believe that the censorship by television studios is merely a distraction against advocating for real change and progress against systemic racism, and that such censorship is being used by bad-faith actors to distract from highlighting instances of racism.
Netflix recently added a Black Lives Matter collection as its own genre, which features documentaries such as Ava DuVernay's '13th' and Michelle Obama's 'Becoming'.