8:55am PT by Kate Stanhope
Jerrod Carmichael Blasts NBC for Pulling Mass Shooting Episode
Jerrod Carmichael has never shied away from tackling the tough topics on his NBC sitcom. However, the network didn't feel the same way Wednesday when it decided to pull an episode of the comedy that dealt with a mass shooting.
NBC's decision to not air the episode came hours after a gunman opened fire on several lawmakers during a morning practice for a congressional baseball game, injuring House GOP whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others. There was a second mass shooting that killed four in San Francisco.
NBC ultimately aired a different new episode — a decision Carmichael made clear he did not agree with when appearing on Chelsea.
"I thought that [the] episode would have an opportunity to talk about these tragedies in a meaningful way, to really lend itself to conversation," Carmichael said. "A lot of times when things like this happen and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that's not the news, people will say 'too soon.' But when is it not too soon? Unfortunately, these things happen constantly, and it's a thing that breaks all of our hearts."
The episode, titled "Shoot-up-able," followed Carmichael's character after he survives a mass shooting. Although he fights against being coddled by his family and being labeled a victim, things are made harder when he's forced to tell a police officer exactly what he saw.
"I understand a corporation making that decision, but really, to me, what it says is that you don't think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue and something that reflects real family conversations and something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims," Carmichael said. "We handled the episode with as much love and integrity as we could. To pull that is just criminal. It does a disservice to the viewer, it does a disservice to you, it does a disservice to all of us."
NBC's decision also comes one week before the network plans to air another topical episode of the 20th Century Fox multicam. The June 21 episode of the series, titled "Cynthia's Birthday," will see the network air the N-word unedited six times, with a disclaimer at the top of the episode.
It is not yet known when the "Shoot-up-able" episode will air.
Carmichael's full appearance on Chelsea hits Netflix on Friday.