In the “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” episode, the Ben Chang character, played by Ken Jeong, shows up to a Dungeons & Dragons game wearing black make-up and a white wig. Shirley, played by Yvette Nicole Brown, says to Chang, “So, we’re just going to ignore that hate crime, huh?”, to which Chang responds, “I’m a dark elf or a drow.” Chang continues to play the game as the character, Brutalitops the Magician, until he is killed and eliminated.
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The show’s producer Sony Pictures Television released a statement, backing both Netflix and Hulu. “We support the decision to remove the episode, an SPT spokesperson said.
The decision to pull the episode is one of the latest by networks and streaming services amid renewed national conversations about offensive stereotypes and racism. Earlier today, The Office creator Greg Daniels cut a scene from a 2012 episode of the comedy series, calling the racist trope “unacceptable” even when used as satire. And earlier this week, several live-action comedies, including Scrubs and 30 Rock, pulled episodes featuring blackface from their streaming platforms.
Created by Dan Harmon, Community, starring Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Jeong, Chevy Chase and Jim Rash, aired from 2009-2015 on NBC. The show streams on both Netflix and Hulu.
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