Black-ish is one of those shows that aren’t afraid to touch on current events.
They’ve done episodes on police brutality, the N-word, and most recently, the prison industrial complex. Unfortunately, though, fans won’t get to see black-ish weigh in on the national debate over athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
According to Variety, an episode of black-ish about kneeling athletes has been pulled due to “creative differences.” The episode titled “Please, Baby, Please” was initially set to air Feb. 27, but has been “indefinitely shelved” by ABC with no plans to air in the future.
The episode reportedly involves Dre (Anthony Anderson) talking about his concern over the direction the country’s taking, and arguing with his eldest son Andre, Jr. (Marcus Scribner) about whether athletes should kneel during the national anthem.
In response to the episode’s shelving, creator Kenya Barris told Variety, “Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it.”
ABC is obviously closely connected with ESPN, which has a multi-billion dollar deal with the NFL, so it makes sense that Disney, which owns both networks, would want to avoid a divisive conversation regarding a product it has poured a lot of money into over the years.
This is a huge mistake by ABC and a missed opportunity to put a positive spin on the real reasons for taking a knee.