Controversial Unaired ‘Black-ish’ Episode ‘Please, Baby, Please’ Is Finally Available on Hulu
After ABC infamously shelved it back in 2018 over “creative differences,” the unaired Black-ish episode “Please, Baby, Please” will finally see the light of day on Hulu. All it took was 2 years and the departure of creator Kenya Barris.
As reported by Variety, Barris announced the news himself in an Instagram post, revealing that the controversial episode is now available on the streaming service. He wrote, “In November of 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.”
The episode involved Dre (Anthony Anderson) trying to calm his infant son with a bedtime story while a thunderstorm rages outside. When the baby won’t stop crying, he gives up on the book and starts making up a story of his own that becomes an outlet for all of the anxiety and concern Dre is feeling about the state of the world. It touches on several political issues, including the Charlottesville white supremacist rally and NFL players kneeling in protest over police violence. Allegedly, ABC shelved the episode over comments Dre makes about Donald Trump. (Dre’s story is about a kingdom being divided by a “shady king” who is explicitly Trump.)
It’s an incredibly topical episode that is poignantly relatable, with Dre expressing his frustration and fear over what’s happening in the country while feeling completely helpless to do anything about it. It is, quite frankly, a damn shame ABC chose to shelve it instead of put their considerable power behind its message. (Disney famously tries to avoid any sort of controversy.) It’s a legitimately great piece of television, and the fact that it is finally available for audiences to watch is definitely good news, but it’s disappointing that the network was too afraid to air it back in 2018. You can check out Barris’ post below. “Please, Baby, Please” is available on Hulu right now, where it’s officially cataloged as “Season 4 Episode 99.” For more Hulu news, check out the new poster for the streamer’s upcoming adaptation of Clive Barker‘s Books of Blood.