Coming out in open support of national anthem protests was apparently too far even for one of ABC’s most left-wing shows.
An unaired episode of the sitcom “Black-ish” that addressed the issue of the NFL’s national anthem protests was shelved over “creative differences,” Variety reports.
The program, which portrays the life of an upper-middle class African American family, has taken on “racially-charged” topics before and even had an episode that dealt with the main characters’ fears for the country following the election of Donald Trump.
The scrapped episode, titled “Please, Baby, Please,” was filmed in November and originally set to air Feb. 27. Viewers at the time were surprised to instead see a rerun on that date.
A spokesman for ABC told Variety that “on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve.”
Directed by show creator Kenya Barris, the episode revolved around lead character Dre, portrayed by Anthony Anderson, caring for his infant son on the night of a fierce thunderstorm.
He begins to read his son a bedtime story, but eventually opts for making up his own story instead. This leads to Dre discussing several hot-button political issues of the day–including the widespread national anthem protests by NFL players during the 2017 season.
According to Variety, one scene consisted of Dre and his oldest son, Junior, arguing over the rights of athletes to kneel during the national anthem.
Regarding the episode, Barris said:
“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it. ‘Black-ish’ is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I’m so proud of the series.”
“Black-ish” has received high ratings and favorable reviews from critics, earning multiple awards and nominations, including a Best Actress Golden Globe win for Tracee Ellis Ross, the show’s co-lead.
The ABC sitcom is known for its left-leaning slant on themes of society and racial identity.