Netflix Removes Episode of ‘W/ Bob & David’ Featuring David Cross in Blackface Sketch
Netflix has removed an episode of one-season 2015 comedy show “W/ Bob and David” – which features Bob Odenkirk and David Cross – because of a sketch that features Cross in blackface, Variety reported Tuesday.
The sketch, called “Know Your Rights,” appeared in the show’s third episode. It has also been pulled from Netflix’s YouTube account.
In it, Cross plays a man named Gilvin Daughtry, who attempts to demonstrate citizens’ rights at a traffic stop manned by Keegan-Michael Key (“Key and Peele”) and Jay Johnston (“Moral Orel”) as police officers. Following “a string of unsuccessful attempts to provoke Key,” Daughtry comes back in blackface and says, “Hello, brother. How can I be of service to you today?” according to Variety.
A message reading “every race in America has equal rights” then appears at the bottom of the screen, and Key brings Johnston (who is white) over to handle the situation. Johnston’s officer pepper sprays Cross’ character in the face and tases him.
On Monday, Cross tweeted that the streamer planned to remove the episode, and defended the sketch, saying it was meant to “underscore the absurdity” of the “ridiculous, foolish,” character he plays.
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 outhttps://t.co/JkMBWS2wAR— david cross✍ (@davidcrosss) June 15, 2020
Odenkirk also responded, saying “Our comedy is always about the human element, never about making a political point.”
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 https://t.co/1yOKa417T8— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) June 16, 2020
Netflix’s action regarding the episode comes as it announced a $5 million pledge to organizations that help black creators, black youth and black-owned businesses in the U.S.