We are now in the third week of ongoing protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd on May 25th. Floyd was killed by asphyxia when officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. In the weeks since, major cities in all 50 US states and even other countries have seen their streets flooded with those taking a stand against the ongoing racial injustices and law enforcement’s abuse of power.
As many companies and platforms continue to show solidarity and support to those protesting, some of that support has come in the way of removing racially insensitive material. Such is the case with a season 6 episode of FX’s incredibly popular comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Netflix UK has removed “Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth,” which sees Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) wear blackface while acting in the gang’s version of Lethal Weapon 5.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars a group of five hopelessly narcissistic bar owners consistently getting themselves into messy situations that often regard very sensitive issues. While its creators are far from racist, sexist or homophobic, they regularly use their characters’ ignorance as a way to highlight a variety of meaningful and timely world problems and offer scathing social commentary. “Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth” marks one such occasion in which the gang must decide whether blackface is racist or artistically valuable.
Whether you agree or disagree with the decision to remove it, it’s clear that the show’s creators meant for the episode – and various others that deal with racial tension throughout its 14 seasons – to examine the self-absorption and lack of awareness of people who are similar to the characters within the show. Even so, it’s unknown at this point if the episode will be added back in the future or if Netflix UK intends to keep it off the service permanently.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s 15th season will see it finally beat ABC’s The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as the longest-running live-action comedy series. No release date has been set for it just yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as that changes.