ABC and “Black-ish” Creator Pulled Episode Due to “Creative Differences”

Fans of ABC’s hit comedy Black-ish may have been curious when, on February 27th, the show aired a repeat episode instead of a new one as scheduled. Now, as Variety reports, details surrounding the situation have been released, with the episode’s pulling being attributed to “creative differences.” The episode in question is titled “Please, Baby, Please” and was directed by showrunner Kenya Barris. In it, Dre (Anthony Anderson) telling his young son an improvised bedtime story that comes to hit on a number of current political and cultural topics. Additionally, the episode is said to feature a discussion about NFL players’ right to kneel during the National Anthem. Regarding the episode being pulled from the schedule, and ABC spokesperson said, “One of the things that has always made Black-ish so special is how it deftly examines delicate social issues in a way that simultaneously entertains and educates. However, on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.” Similarly, 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. 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.”

News of the why the episode failed to air come at a time when politics has been a delicate issue for ABC and Disney. During last week’s annual meeting of shareholders, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger was grilled about comments made by View host Joy Behar and ESPN anchor Jemele Hill. On the other side, ABC has taken some flack for billing their Roseanne revival as “the family that looks like us” in promotional clips (in the trailer, the remark is followed by a joke regarding the family members’ weight).

It’s unclear if or when the “Please, Baby, Please” episode of Black-ish will air.