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July 12, 2020

'Mad Men' Episode with Blackface Won't Be Removed but Will Be Edited with a Disclaimer Instead

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The makers of the famous TV show, "Mad Men," have announced that they will be making changes to one of its episodes after recent controversies over the use of blackface. 

"Mad Men," the series from AMC and Lionsgate Studios, will be returning to streaming platforms this month. However, reports have confirmed that the studio won’t be removing an episode that contained blackface. 

Matthew Weiner, January Jones, John Slattery, Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks attend the "Mad Men" New York Special Screening on March 22, 2015 in New York City. | Photo:Getty Images


As reports explained, the studio understands now that blackface use is wrong. However, instead of completely taking the episode off, they would add a disclaimer to the beginning to alert viewers.

The episode specifically features the leading man, John Slattery, doing blackface. While many have criticized this in the past, Lionsgate believes that including it will help people come to terms with the norms of society in the past. 


By adding a disclaimer, they hope to make more people aware. Essentially, they’re choosing to embrace the past, instead of shying away from it. In part, Lionsgate explained:

“This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America...that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963.”

The studio added that this decision was from the show’s producers. In a bid to keep the show’s artistic integrity, they would keep the episode intact. 


"Mad Men’s" producers also believe that this will help people to reflect on society and how best to move forward. It’s a bold move, but it could pay off in the end. 

HBO Max confirmed that it would remove “Gone With The Wind” from its catalog.

"Mad Men" isn’t the only project that has been forced to make changes in light of blackface controversies. With many people pointing out the possible racist undertones, several filmmakers and studios have made similar moves. 


Earlier this month, HBO Max also confirmed that it would remove “Gone With The Wind” from its catalog. The movie had rampant blackface use and has been harshly criticized of late.

Apart from the use of blackface, the 1939 movie has also gotten criticism for its depiction of slavery. In a statement, the company explained that it was a product of its time, and was wrong.


"Gone With The Wind" showed servants who remained with their masters after the abolition movement at the height of the American Civil War. 

At the time it was made, the movie was rather popular. It got 10 Academy Awards, including one for Hattie McDaniel, a black actress who starred in it. 

Vivien Leigh has her corset tightened by Hattie McDaniel in a publicity still for the film, 'Gone with the Wind', 1939. | Photo: Getty Images

McDaniel became the first African-American actress to get an Oscar nomination — and win one too. "Gone With The Wind" is also one of the highest-grossing movies ever.

HBO Max did confirm that it would return the movie. However, the company didn’t give a specific date.