In light of 30 Rock pulling multiple episodes that featured blackface from streaming and syndication, one fan reached out to Lawrence via Twitter and asked him to do the same thing for Scrubs. Lawrence agreed with their request and promised that it was already being taken care of.
Agreed. Already in the works.
— Bill Lawrence (@VDOOZER) June 23, 2020
According to TVLine, the three episodes that have been removed include one from Season 3 titled “My Fifteen Seconds,” and two from Season 5, titled “My Jiggly Ball” and “My Chopped Liver.”
In one episode, J.D., the character played by Zach Braff, wore blackface to a party, while in another, Eliot, Sarah Chalke’s character, donned blackface as part of a fantasy sequence.
All three episodes have already been removed from Hulu, where Scrubs is currently streaming in its entirety.
The long-running series aired for nine seasons in total, with the first seven airing on NBC and the last two seasons on ABC.
Lawrence’s response to a fan on Twitter garnered a mostly positive response. Several people commended him for his quick action in removing the episodes, adding that seeing blackface on their favorite show had ruined the experience for them, and they were happy they would no longer have to see it anymore.
“I’ve loved Scubs [sic] since it aired on tv. Rewatching it currently and the black/brown face is really disturbing. Glad this is being addressed but disappointed this was even part of one of my favorite shows. Made me not want to watch anymore,” wrote one fan.
Despite the episodes being removed, several people noted that scenes featuring blackface should not have been made in the first place.
Another person responded to them to convey they felt the jokes might have been made in poor taste but were not meant to be offensive.
“It’s sad to hear that it makes you feel that way. Their relationship was one beyond color. The jokes might have a bad taste but I’m sure the intention was not one with racist connotations. But I do understand why it could be upsetting,” they said.
In light of the recent protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement against systemic racism, many Hollywood stars and producers have taken action against racism.
Aside from 30 Rock removing episodes deemed offensive, several reality television stars have been fired as of late for past racist actions, including multiple Vanderpump Rules stars and at least one from Below Deck: Mediterranean.