Blackface scene removed from ‘The Golden Girls’

The Golden Girls episode has been removed from Hulu because it features a scene involving a blackface joke. The Golden Girls has come under analysis for one of its episodes containing a racist scene of the two of the characters in blackface.

Watch: Who are ‘The Golden Girls’

The Golden Girls is an American sitcom television series created by Susan Harris that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes, spanning seven seasons. The show stars Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty as four older women who share friendship and a home in Miami, Florida.

It was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions in association with Touchstone Television. Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, and Harris served as the original executive producers.

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The episode, titled “Mixed Blessings,” and aired in 1988, is the 23rd episode in the sitcom’s third season. In the episode, Michael, played by Scott Jacoby, plans to marry an older Black woman, Lorraine, played by Rosalind Cash. Dorothy, Michael’s mother, disapproves of Lorraine’s family’s age difference, also opposing the interracial union.

The two families join forces to stop the wedding. Hulu had also removed three episodes with blackface content from the hospital comedy sitcom Scrubs at the request of creator Bill Lawrence and ABC Studios, reports Variety. Two weeks before, the classic Oscar-winning movie Gone With the Wind was temporarily removed from the libraries of HBO Max, citing a need to address its racist depictions.

Blackface in Entertainment

Many streaming services, film providers, and television networks purge racist content from their back catalogs in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The use of blackface began in the mid-19th century when performers would darken their skin and exaggerate their lips as part of traveling minstrel shows. Racist audiences were not interested in seeing Black people perform on stage.

Blackface scene removed from 'The Golden Girls'
Blackface scene removed from ‘The Golden Girls’

But were entertained by actors made to look Black who would sing and dance like “the darkies.” The practice eventually spread to Black actors who would use makeup to hide their actual race from audiences. That evolved to Black actors showing their faces, but taking on stereotypical roles using exaggerated Black dialect that was in many ways “vocal blackface.”

The removal or re-editing of relatively recent episodes of TV featuring blackface comes in the wake of nationwide protests for racial justice.

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