A “Golden Girls” Episode Was Pulled For “Blackface” And Some People Think It’s Going Too Far

In the last few weeks, the entertainment industry has been reckoning with the TV habit of using blackface for comedic effect, because blackface isn’t funny. It’s just racist. It’s been a thing that many Black people have said is racist for a long, long, long time, and yet it keeps happening. It’s almost like the white people in charge weren’t paying attention!

But after a few months of daily protests around the country over racist police violence, as well as many difficult conversations about racism in every industry, some networks and showrunners are responding by pulling episodes of TV with blackface in them. Yes, multiple episodes.

This week, it’s an episode of Golden Girls, Deadline reports. The episode aired in 1988 in the show’s third season and centers around the marriage engagement Dorothy’s son Michael has with a Black woman who is older than him named Lorraine. Dorothy supposedly disapproves because of the age gap, and Lorraine’s family disapproves because they don’t want to see her in an interracial relationship.

When her family shows up, Blanche and Rose step out to greet them and happen to be wearing mud masks, which look like blackface.

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“This is mud on our faces, we’re not really Black,” Rose tells them.

Is this a joke about blackface? Definitely. Is it actually blackface? The Internet is divided, and not just into racists and non-racists. Some people feel this scene doesn’t actually qualify as a racial caricature. Others feel like these surface responses to the demand for racial justice is distracting and irrelevant. Some just think this goes too far:

Golden Girls joins more modern programs like Community, 30 Rock, and The Office in deleting episodes or scenes that include blackface. 30 Rock featured four episodes using the racist trope and was made 30 years later. 

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