It was revealed Monday that Disney would be making the controversial 2018 half-hour episode “Please, Baby, Please” available with the rest of the comedy’s library at streamer Hulu. The episode, as The Hollywood Reporter reported in Barris’s 2018 cover story offered a mix of political allegory and actual news footage of Donald Trump, the Charlottesville attacks and the NFL kneeling protests. Days prior to its scheduled air date at the time, the episode was mysteriously and indefinitely shelved.
When Noah asked Barris why the episode was shelved, the creator simply cited the reason to “creative differences.” He explained that it was arriving during an “interesting time in our country’s growth” as well as growth in Disney.
“It as the most blatantly partisan episode of Black-ish we’ve ever done. That’s a hard place to be for America’s Broadcasting Corporation,” Barris explained, adding he couldn’t “compromise” over what should and shouldn’t be included in the episode.
“Bob Iger understood and really supported where I was coming from but, at the same time, was running a publicly traded company during a merger and things like that,” he said of Iger.
As for the episode now being resurrected, Barris recalled having a conversation with Iger who he described as “the best CEO I’ve ever talked to.”
“We had a real honest conversation about this episode. He was like ‘I love the episode,'” Barris said. He also recalled Iger advising that given “the time is there” and “there’s a lot of curiosity” as to why the episode was shelved, they should “let people sort of on their own find their answer.”
Since its release, Barris says he’s happy with what viewers have said and seen of the episode. “One of the highlights of my writing career is to be able to have something that you felt like was gone that you’re really proud of to be able to come back and, actually during a time when we’re actually in all this stuff, speak to people and start a conversation.”
Watch more of his interview with Noah below.