Hulu, a popular streaming service, has decided to remove an episode of The Golden Girls which contained a scene of characters in blackface after a request from the series’s distributor, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. The episode, titled Mixed Blessing, aired back in 1988 and is the 23rd episode in the third season of the popular sitcom. In the episode, Michael, who is played by Scott Jacoby, plans to marry a Black woman, Lorrain, who is played by Rosalin Cash. Dorothy, Michael’s mother, disapproved of their age difference with Lorraines’ family also opposing the interracial marriage. The two families then join forces to stop the wedding.
Lorraine’s family arrives as Rose, which is famously portrayed by Hollywood favorite Betty White, and Blanche, portrayed by Rue McClanahan, are applying face masks. The two greet the family with their mud masks saying, “This is mud on our faces, we’re not really Black.” The decision to remove the episode comes after a week of announcements regarding the removal of episodes for popular TV shows that contained characters In blackface.
NBC removed four episodes of 30 Rock which contained featured characters in blackface stemming from a request by Tina Fey, who is the show creator, and co-showrunner Robert Carlock. The Office creator, Greg Daniels, had also cut a blackface scene in an episode that aired in 2012, saying he was “sorry for the pain he has caused.” Streaming platforms Netflix and Hulu also pulled an episode from Community in which Ken Jeon’s character appears in blackface.
The Golden Girls was created by Susan Harris and originally aired on NBC from 1985 to 1992, with a total of 189 episodes, spanning seven seasons. The show stars Betty White, Rue McLanahan, Estelle Getty, and Bea Arthur, and follows the four older women and their friendship. The show won several awards including Prime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series- Musical or Comedy. Each of the stars received an Emmy Award.