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The Carmichael Show‘s mass shooting episode is back on the books.
NBC has rescheduled the half-hour installment, titled “Shoot-up-able,” for Wednesday. The news comes a week and a half after the episode was pulled in the wake of the congressional baseball practice mass shooting, and after a second mass shooting, which left four dead, occurred in San Francisco. Both happened the same day that “Shoot-up-able” was set to debut.
The episode follows Carmichael’s character after he survives a mass shooting. Although he fights against being coddled by his family and labeled a victim, things are made harder when he’s forced to tell a police officer exactly what he saw.
Instead, NBC aired another new episode of the third-year sitcom, titled “Lesbian Wedding.” Hours before the network officially pulled it, co-creator and star Jerrod Carmichael criticized its hesitancy in airing the episode when he filmed an appearance on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show.
“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.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
The Carmichael Show has frequently tackled tough and sometimes controversial topics. Last Wednesday, the 20th Century Television-produced series debuted an episode where characters used the N-word, without edit, six times. However, NBC’s Raleigh affiliate opted to edit out the word in question.
The decision to air the mass shooting episode also comes as NBC mulls the fate of the series, which currently stands as its longest-running comedy. The half-hour received an eleventh-hour renewal in May 2016 after the network announced its fall schedule, and subsequently the new season did not premiere until May 31, more than a year after the season-two finale aired. Options on the cast are set to expire Friday.
The Carmichael Show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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