One of ABC's most-popular shows has reportedly "permanently shelved" an episode due to "creative differences" between the network and showrunner Kenya Barris. Since the show's inception, Black-ish has had a unique ability to deftly maneuver through a delicate political and cultural landscape.
Four seasons in, the show remains one of the top draws for ABC, but a recent disagreement between Barris and ABC produced negative headlines. According to the report from Variety, the episode, entitled “Please, Baby, Please” was set to cover multiple political and social issues.
Among the social and political issues to be discussed was the protests that hit the NFL in 2017. Here's a breakdown of the episode's synopsis.
The episode covers multiple political and social issues. In one scene, Dre and oldest son Junior (Marcus Scribner) argue over the rights of athletes to kneel during the performance of the national anthem at football games.
Barris gave the following comment to Variety about the move.
“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 was originally set to air Feb. 27. ABC replaced the episode with a rerun, but did not provide any additional detail in a release at that time about why the change had been made or when “Please, Baby, Please” would air.
It's worth noting ABC and ESPN are both owned by the same company. ABC and Kenya Barris cited "creative differences," but never specifically addressed if the national anthem protest part of the episode was the true reason for the move.