Adult Swim "Permanently Retired" Episodes of 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force,' 'The Boondocks' Due to "Cultural Sensitivities"
Published Sep 29, 2020Once again, the world of television is scrubbing some old content due to its controversial nature. This time, it's Adult Swim making the move, with episodes of The Boondocks, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Shivering Truth being "permanently retired due to cultural sensitivities."
After Reddit users pointed out that certain episodes of the shows were now missing, The Daily Beast confirmed the news with the network.
Now missing from streaming are the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes "Shake Like Me" from Season 6 and "Boston" from Season 5. The former — a play on "Black Like Me" — features a plot about the character Shake, who "learns what it's like to be a stereotype" after being bitten by a radioactive Black man. The latter, meanwhile, concerns a parody of a real-life bomb scare.
For The Boondocks, the long-controversial episode "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" has been removed. According to the IMDb description, "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" features a story about Ruckus, who "finds his musical soul mate in famed racist country-western singer Jimmy Rebel."
As for The Shivering Truth, Adult Swim has "temporarily rested" the third episode called "The Ogled Inklings" over a line about a "dirty pig" that's tied to police.
The decision to remove the episodes comes as Adult Swim moves part of its archival content over to HBO's newly launched HBO Max streaming service.
In a statement, Adult Swim said the following:
When Adult Swim transitions series to a new platform, we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies. Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show's creators.
So far, The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder has not publicly responded to the news, but the show is set to return for two new seasons on HBO Max.
The news follows similar moves by networks over multiple blackface scandals, such as Netflix pulling The Mighty Boosh, The League of Gentlemen and four Chris Lilley shows. Artists, comedians and actors including David Byrne, Jimmy Kimmel, Howard Stern and others also recently issued apologies for wearing blackface in the past.