More than two years after ABC pulled the episode and shelved it, the political episode of black-ish that discusses NFL kneeling is now on Hulu.
Barris made a statement about the release, saying, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
The shelving was first attributed to “creative differences” that Barris and the producers “were unable to resolve” with ABC, but it is widely assumed that this had a role in Barris leaving ABC Studios for an overall deal at Netflix.
The episode “features Anthony Anderson’s patriarch Dre caring for his infant son on the night of an intense thunderstorm that keeps the whole household awake. Dre attempts to read the baby a bedtime story, but abandons that plan when the baby continues to cry. He instead improvises a bedtime story that, over the course of the episode, conveys many of Dre’s concerns about the current state of the country. The episode covers multiple political and social issues. In one scene, Dre and oldest son Junior (Marcus Scribner) argue over the rights of athletes to kneel during the performance of the national anthem at football games.”
It was eventually revealed that comments a character said about Donald Trump, not the protest talk, was the reason the episode was shelved.