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ABC nixes Black-ish episode about NFL players anthem protests

Sports Xchange
12 Mar 2018, 05:16 GMT+10

ABC apparently took a knee and decided not to air a sitcom episode involving NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

The network opted to pull an episode of the show "Black-ish" that was scheduled to air on Feb. 27, series creator Kenya Barris told Variety.com.

"Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it," said Barris. " 'Black-ish' is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I'm so proud of the series."

The episode in question, titled "Please, Baby, Please," detailed the show's characters debating the merits of players kneeling for the national anthem.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement during the 2016 preseason, kneeling during the national anthem as a protest to denounce police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.

The issue has become a hot-button topic for both the NFL and society in general, with President Donald Trump weighing in with repeated criticism of players kneeling and calling for them to be fired.

ABC aired a rerun in place of the episode and said there are no plans to telecast it in the future.

"One of the things that has always made 'Black-ish' so special is how it deftly examines delicate social issues in a way that simultaneously entertains and educates," an ABC spokesperson told Variety on Friday. "However, on this episode there were creative differences we were unable to resolve."

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