Certain ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force,’ ‘The Boondocks’ Episodes Retired Due to ‘Cultural Sensitivities’

Several episodes of Adult Swim series have been “permanently retired due to cultural sensitivities,” according to the network, including those from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “The Boondocks.”

The Daily Beast, which first reported the news, noted that Reddit users had pointed out “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” episode “Shake Like Me” and “The Boondocks” episode “The Story of Jimmy Rebel” could not be found — or were only briefly found — on HBO Max, the streaming service launched by WarnerMedia in the spring. In “Shake Like Me,” a reference to the John Howard Griffin book “Black Like Me,” Shake “learns what it’s like to be a stereotype” after being bitten by a radioactive Black man, according to the IMDB description of the episode. In the site’s description of “The Story of Jimmy Rebel,” Ruckus “finds his musical soul mate in famed racist country-western singer Jimmy Rebel.”

According to a source, one of those episodes was accidentally uploaded to HBO Max due to a software error and was promptly removed — the episodes in question were not part of the original licensing deal between HBO Max and Adult Swim.

But per an Adult Swim spokesperson, the 2018 “The Shivering Truth” episode “The Ogled Inklings” will return to the Adult Swim site and HBO Max in the future after being “temporarily rested.”

The move follows other networks and streaming platforms’ decisions over the summer to remove episodes containing blackface. Hulu removed three episodes of “Scrubs” that featured blackface following requests from “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence and ABC Studios. And “30 Rock” creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, alongside series owner NBCUniversal, asked platforms and networks to remove four episodes featuring characters in blackface to be removed from streaming and syndication. Netflix has also removed an episode of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ 2015 comedy series “W/Bob and David” that featured Cross in blackface.

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