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In the original cut, Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon heads to a 24-hour doughnut shop where she meets talkative Becca, a pregnant counter clerk played by Phoebe Strole. Becca complains to Liz that some of the people she’s met while considering the adoption process “don’t even know who Chris Brown is.”
To prove she’s hip and in-the-know, Liz sings a bit of Brown’s hit song “With You.” However, THR noticed when the Emmy winning NBC comedy moved to Hulu, Becca no longer mentions Brown, and instead says “Ne-Yo” in the obviously re-edited cut. And when the camera cuts to Liz, only the muffled singing part of her retort is shown and it’s no longer clear that she’s meant to be singing “With You.”
It seems that no one wants to address why Brown has been edited out of the scene because THR’s requests for comment to Hulu, Fey and Strole went unreturned. NBC had no comment.
Eagle-eyed users on Reddit picked up on the switch too, and an entire thread from Oct. 9 is devoted to discussing why and when this happened, with two users claiming that the Brown edit happened ahead of the release of the 30 Rock DVDs, which happened way back on Sept. 22, 2009. Brown has been somewhat of a controversial figure ever since he pleaded guilty of assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in February of 2009, one month before the episode first aired.
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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