A decision by Hulu’s streaming service to make an episode of Golden Girls which featured characters wearing mud masks over concerns about black faces was criticized as “counterintuitive”.
Hulu removed the 1988 episode entitled Mixed Blessing, in which Bea Arthur’s Dorothy was introduced to her son’s girlfriend, Lorraine, a particularly older black woman.
While Dorothy has reservations about the commitment due to the woman’s age, Lorraine’s family is resistant to her marriage to a white man.
The controversial scene in question finds two of Dorothy’s friends – Rose, played by Betty White and Blanche, played by Rue McClanahan – who tries on a mud mask when they meet Lorraine’s family for the first time.
“This is mud on our faces. We are not really black,” says Rose.
Some criticized Hulu’s decision to end the episode, claiming it was an overreaction.
“That Golden Girls episode isn’t blackface. What the hell?” the black Twitter author Roxanne Gay. “Removing this episode is strange, counterproductive and stupid. It decreases the effort to end racism. It’s so stupid.”
Erica Williams Simon, a fellow author, said the decision was not what Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrated for.
“First of all, they were in non-black mud masks. And then, in what world” Stop killing us “. It seems” Please remove the Golden Girls episodes “? I have seen nothing but ask about anyone’s protest sign” , he wrote.
Hulu’s decision follows several other distributors who remove television scenes with blackface depictions.
Earlier this month, Tina Fey asked that four episodes of 30 Rock, originally broadcast on NBC, have been extracted from streaming and syndication services, as they feature blackface characters.