Back in 2018, an episode of ABC‘s Black-ish was mysteriously and abruptly shelved, never hitting the network or any streaming platforms. Today, the 22-minute long episode, titled “Please, Baby, Please,” will be available to watch for the first time on Hulu, creator Kenya Barris announced on Twitter.
“Please, Baby, Please” was made in November 2017 in reaction to one year of the Trump presidency. The Season 4 episode shows Dre (Anthony Anderson) reading a bedtime story to his infant son about the world he was born into, beginning with how Trump got elected and detailing the events of the past year. “Please, Baby, Please” blends illustrations and animation with news footage of Trump’s speeches, the NFL kneeling protests and the 2017 Charlottesville rally. “When you’re putting a baby to sleep, you’re trying to soothe whatever anxieties they’re having,” Barris told the Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “So, this was about me trying to pat the butt of the country and soothe people.”
The controversial episode was originally slated to premiere during the second half of Black-ish Season 4, but was pulled from the premiere schedule by ABC. In March 2018, an ABC spokesperson told Deadline that the episode was shelved due to “creative differences.”
Over two years later, Barris asked Walt Disney Television to reconsider and make “Please, Baby, Please” available. “I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together,” he wrote.
Read Barris’ full statement below.
In November 2017, we made an episode of ‘black-ish’ entitled “Please, Baby, Please.” We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future. Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. “Please, Baby, Please” didn’t make it to air that season and, while much has been speculated about its contents, the episode has never been seen publicly… until now.
I’m excited to share that “Please, Baby, Please” is now available on Hulu. Following the re-airing of “Juneteenth” and “Hope,” I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available. Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed.
I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together.
Thank you to ABC Entertainment for allowing this moment to happen. And thank you to the entire ‘black-ish’ family for never shying away from tough conversations, making telling stories like this possible.
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