‘Mad Men’ to stream Blackface episode on IMDb TV with disclaimer, fans call it a 'show with common sense’
Lionsgate released a statement explaining its decision and the third episode from the third season, 'My Old Kentucky Home' will play out with a disclaimer message
If you're a 'Mad Men' fan, here's some news for you. Created by Matthew Weiner, the period drama ran on AMC from 2007 to 2015, lasting for seven seasons and 92 episodes. The streaming rights of the series that won 16 Emmys and 5 Golden Globes ended on Netflix last month and it's now going to Amazon’s free, ad-supported IMDb TV service.
Starring a stellar cast of Don Draper, Peggy Olson and Pete Campbell, 'Mad Men' returns to streaming but the series makers have confirmed that the episode with Blackface will not be edited out. Released in 2009, the episode featured Roger Sterling (John Slattery) in Blackface. Lionsgate released a statement explaining its decision. The third episode from the third season, 'My Old Kentucky Home' will play out with a disclaimer message that reads: “This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America. One of the characters is shown in Blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963.”
It further says, “In its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society that continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today and who we want to become. We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety.”
The decision comes in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, after which several TV shows like '30 Rock', 'Community', 'Scrubs' and 'Golden Girls' chopped off the scenes and episodes containing Blackface. Earlier, HBO Max pulled off 'Gone with the Wind' for the same reason but re-uploaded it on the streamer with disclaimers. 'Mad Men' showrunners seem to have taken the historical context into consideration and no sooner did the news circulate on social media, it was met with positive responses.
"I mean Mad Men is about that place in time and shows how sexist and racist s**t was. Beyond a clear disclaimer, no reason to remove it," one fan said and another posted, "Finally a tv show with some common sense." One said, "ZERO reason to remove it. The point was to SHOW the racism." Another viewer noted: "Because it's depiction was to show the racist tropes of the past? Why would this episode be pulled?"
Lambasting the systemic racism prevalent in the society, one said, "I'm glad they're keeping the episode up. We should all see and know how trash white people were back then and still are today." Another posted, "Glorifying the evils of the past will prevent the future from changing from it. This is the same reason why statues of the Confederacy are still up... people want to glorify racism. It's wrong."
Many thought even a disclaimer wasn't needed. "The whole point was how wildly offensive (and acceptable at the time) it was. Then again, they removed a golden girls episode where they wore mud masks so sense is out the window with anti-BLM studio gaslighting," one tweet read and another said, "I'm curious. The entire show is about how bad the 1960s were not just on or about race/racism but sexist and homophobic. Would the entire show need a disclaimer?" One said, "Shouldn’t even be a disclaimer. Mad Men’s audience is intelligent enough to understand the context of the scene." Another wrote: "Yeah, I thought the point of the show was how awful everything was back then. Betty slapped a neighbor’s kid in the first episode! Horrendous."
'Mad Men' will be available for viewers to stream free with ads July 15 on IMDb TV.