The Golden Girls is the latest series to have an episode reconsidered amid heightened concerns about racial inequalities and systemic racism.
U.S. streamer Hulu has lifted the Golden Girls season 3 episode "Mixed Blessings" (sometimes reported as "Mixed Feelings"). It contains a scene with a joke about blackface while "Rose" (Betty White) and "Blanche" (Rue McClanahan) wear mud masks in the presence of Black women.
Golden Girls episode "Mixed Blessings" pulled for blackface joke
In the episode, "Michael" introduces his new love, "Lorraine," a significantly older Black woman, to his mother "Dorothy" (Beatrice Arthur) and her friends at their home. "Lorraine" brings several family members to the house, where "Rose" and "Blanche" emerge wearing dark mud masks. It prompts an uncomfortable moment that's played for laughs, made seemingly with reference to the act of blackface.
"This is mud on our faces. We're not really black," Rose says to defuse tension after the Black guests express shock. Variety shared this link to a GIF that shows a visual from the scene.
Hulu was asked to remove Golden Girls episode
News broke on Saturday of Hulu's removal of the episode. According to Deadline, the move came after Disney-ABC Domestic Television requested Hulu to pull the episode.
Otherwise, Hulu hasn't yet commented on the decision, nor have they made it known if the episode will eventually return to the streaming service.
Golden Girls, which aired on NBC from 1985 to 1992, joins the list of series that have removed, edited, or added notes of warning to episodes with problematic or racially-insensitive content. Blackface has been a particular target for these changes, with creators of series including The Office, Scrubs, Community, and 30 Rock all voluntarily supporting the changes to past episodes.