The Golden Girls is now incomplete on Hulu, as the streamer has removed an episode from the series due to a blackface scene. Over the past several days, other shows like 30 Rock and Scrubs have had episodes pulled for featuring jokes or gags with white characters wearing blackface makeup. Now, our favorite group of mature ladies from the Miami area are the next to have a classic episode of their show tossed in the trash, after the distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television asked Hulu to pull the episode.
In the case of The Golden Girls, the blackface scene occurs in the 23rd episode of season three. The episode, called "Mixed Blessings," is about Dorothy's (Bea Arthur) son, Michael (Scott Jacoby) pursuing a marriage with an older Black woman, Lorraine (Rosalind Cash). Meanwhile, Dorothy disapproves of their age difference, while Lorraine's family also disapproves of their interracial relationship. Together, the opposing families conspire to put a stop to the wedding. In the end, Michael and Lorraine elope and both parents come to accept their union.
The controversial blackface scene comes when Rose Nylund (Betty White) and Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) are applying mud face treatments. Lorraine's family arrives, and they're greeted by the two ladies. "This is mud on our faces, we're not really Black," Rose utters to the Black characters, prompting an embarrassed look from Blanche. It's not so much unlike Rose to say something so simpleminded, as the character has never been very bright. Still, not wanting to take any chances with potentially offending viewers, Hulu has gone ahead and removed the episode, meaning you might have to turn to the DVD collection if you want to watch it.
In addition to episodes of shows from the past getting pulled from streaming services, many major animated television shows are seeing some pretty big cast shakeups coming soon. With rising complaints over white characters portraying non-white characters, Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell announced they'd no longer voice biracial characters on Big Mouth and Central Park, respectively. Longtime voice actor MIke Henry has also stepped down from playing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, and The Simpsons producers have confirmed their plans to recast all non-white characters with non-white voice actors.
The Golden Girls originally aired between 1985 and 1992. It starred Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, and Estelle Getty as a group of women sharing a Miami home. Although it ended nearly three decades ago, the series has continued to remain one of the most popular comedy series of all time. Many older fans of the show along with newcomers to the series have been enjoying binge-watching The Golden GIrls on Hulu in recent years, putting it on par with other fan favorite classic shows like Friends and The Office.
There doesn't seem to have been much controversy over this particular episode of The Golden Girls that was pulled, but chances are Hulu was looking to get ahead of the curve, taking the episode down before it had drawn attention. We'll probably see the same continue to happen with other shows as well. This news comes to us from Deadline.