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Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Why ABC Pulling NFL Protest Episode of ‘Black-ish’ Was ‘Frightening’

Tracee Ellis Ross NFL Episode


Was ABC’s decision to pull an episode of “Black-ish” that dealt with the NFL protests censorship?

A lot of viewers sure felt that way when the news first hit, especially since network executives gave the green light to the now-canceled “Roseanne,” which appealed to the ultra-conservative.

Now, one of “Black-ish’s” stars, Tracee Ellis Ross has spoken out about the episode being pulled, and she had a definite problem with it. But Ross didn’t know the exact reason behind the decision although she asked. 

In fact, the subject of the episode came up when it was mentioned by the actress Debra Messing, who was interviewed with Ross, along with other actresses from the TV world.

“There was an episode of your show that was shelved because it had to do with taking a knee,” right?” Messer asked Ross. “That’s a good question, OK, why?”

“It’s a very good question, and is that censorship?” Ross replied. “The details of why the episode was pulled and everything that has surrounded that, I do not have the answers for. To a certain extent, I have purposefully stayed out of those conversations, because I have had no power to do something beyond that. So I have asked for the information and pushed for the information that I felt would be helpful to me and constructive in what I can do with it, because I find it frightening.”

As we previously reported, the pulled episode titled “Please, Baby, Please” was supposed to air on Feb. 27, and it showed Anthony Anderson’s character Dre having a heated debate with his son Junior about NFL players kneeling before games.

The storyline was based on the movement started by Colin Kaepernick, who began taking a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 to protest the injustices that Black people face.

Back in March, an ABC spokesperson said the decision had to do with creative differences, which “Black-ish’s” creator Kenya Barris agreed with.

“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris told The New York Times.

In April rumors surfaced that Barris wanted to leave ABC for Netflix since the streaming company has been doling out huge checks to other Black writers, like Shonda Rhimes, who signed a four year deal with the company for $100 million.

As of now, ABC hasn’t responded to Ellis’ interview, nor have they provided any more answers on the removal of “Please, Baby, Please.”

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