Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence discussed the recent deletion of three episodes featuring blackface from the Hulu streaming platform, discussing the subject in a podcast alongside show stars Donald Faison and Zach Braff.
The two actors, who host the podcast Scrubs rewatch Fake Doctors, Real Friends, invited Lawrence to the podcast to address the recent controversy. Sarah Chalke, whose character appeared in blackface, also appeared in the episode.
Lawrence said he took “responsibility” for the decision to present Blackface.
Talking about the online abuses against the stars of the show, he said: “I have seen things directed against Donald, Zach and Sarah. And everyone should know that the reason the word showrunner exists on television is that you are the doorman, and whatever is allowed in a show, you have to take responsibility for it. “
He later admitted that he thought at the time that the show had a “free pass” to include the blackface because the show was so diverse.
“We almost thought we had, in the wrong way, a” pass “for not having these thoughts,” he said. “Because we were so proud of ourselves for putting on a very diverse show, in front of and behind the camera.”
“At the time, I was delimiting the traditional” blackface “in my mind,” said Braff. “When we did that, I never matched it. I was like, “Oh, this is a fantasy where I try to be my best friend.” “
“Any joke was passable as a joke as long as it was intended to make people laugh,” added Faison.
The medical sitcom featured three episodes that included blackface. They contain scenes where JD (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison) attend an evening in blackface and whiteface, while in another episode, Elliot (Sarah Chalke) is seen in blackface during a fantastic sequence.
The creator of the series, Bill Lawrence, tweeted a few days before the official deletion of the episodes, revealing that he was in the process of having them deleted.
He also apologized to a fan who tweeted him to tell him that she now found “the black / brown face … really disturbing”, adding that she was disappointed that “it was even part of the one of my favorite shows. “
Lawrence said he was “really sorry” and felt a combination of shame, stupidity and embarrassment.
Really sorry. Feel a combo of shame / stupidity / embarrassment.
– Bill Lawrence (@VDOOZER) June 26, 2020
In the past few weeks, a number of shows have been removed for blackface from various streaming platforms. Some have seen certain episodes removed while entire seasons have been removed.