Netflix Pulls Episode of 'W/ Bob & David' Due to Blackface Sketch

"The point...was to underscore the absurdity," David Cross says

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jun 16, 2020

Netflix has removed an episode of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross's 2015 sketch show W/ Bob & David due a scene that features Cross in blackface.

The sketch in question, titled "Know Your Rights," appeared in the third episode of the show's first and only season. Per Variety, Netflix confirmed that the episode has been pulled from the service, but declined any further comment.

In the "Know Your Rights" sketch, which was also pulled from YouTube, Cross plays character Gilvin Daughtry, who is a member of an organization dubbed "Citizens Against Unlawful Abuse." Cross's character begins the sketch attempting to goad a police officer played by Keegan-Michael Key in order "to show you how to maintain your rights in the face of police harassment."

After failing to get under the skin of Key's cop character, Cross returns in blackface as a message reading "every race in America has equal rights" appears onscreen. Key then brings over a white officer, who proceeds to use a Taser and pepper spray on Cross.

Cross himself pointed to the sketch's removal on Twitter yesterday (June 15), writing, "Hey all, Netflix is going to pull this sketch from With Bob & David because the ridiculous, foolish character I play puts on "black face" at one point. The point of this was to underscore the absurdity...well, here's your last chance to figure it out."

Defending the sketch, Odenkirk wrote, "We considered every choice we made doing our show, and always aimed to make you laugh and think, and never make an obvious or easy point...that very much includes this sketch. Our comedy is always about the human element, never about making a political point."

Netflix has recently pulled The Mighty BooshThe League of Gentlemen and four Chris Lilley shows over their use of blackface and other racist depictions.

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