‘The Office’ Blackface Scene Gets Edited Out for Netflix and Other Streaming Platforms
One of the Christmas episodes of The Office shows Dwight (Rainn Wilson) trying to bring his family tradition to the office. There is a moment in it where his cousin, Mose (Michael Schur) wears blackface. Find out how the episode will now be shown and what the show’s creator has to say about the scene.
Other shows were edited due to blackface
Multiple shows are addressing their past with blackface lately. It all started with Tina Fey making an announcement about 30 Rock.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America,” Fey said in her statement given to Variety, “we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation. I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images.”
The statement continued, “I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”
Similar moves were made to episodes of Scrubs because characters wore blackface. Now there is an episode of The Office, which is getting edited for streaming.
‘Dwight Christmas’ showed Mose wearing blackface
The season 9 episode, “Dwight Christmas” showed the party planning committee not being ready to celebrate Christmas in the office. Dwight tries to convince everyone into doing a traditional Schrute Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas.
He dressed up as Belsnickel, who brings gifts. For part of the costume he partially covers his face in dark makeup. Dwight also cooked German food and tells his co-workers if they’ve been naughty or nice.
There is then a scene where Mose does fully wear blackface, to be Black Peter. He is in the parking lot but turns around after getting a text that they shouldn’t move forward with wearing blackface in the office.
The episode has been edited for Netflix
The episode has been edited to take out the scene featuring Mose. Creator Greg Daniels gave a statement about it to Variety.
“The Office is about a group of people trying to work together with mutual respect despite the inappropriate actions of their boss and assistant manager,” he said. “The show employed satire to expose unacceptable behavior and deliver a message of inclusion. Today we cut a shot of an actor wearing blackface that was used to criticize a specific racist European practice. Blackface is unacceptable and making the point so graphically is hurtful and wrong. I am sorry for the pain that caused.”
The scene was edited out for Netflix, syndication, and Peacock. The news got mixed reactions from fans on social media.