These ‘Scrubs’ Episodes Were Removed From Streaming for a Damn Good Reason

The Huge Image

  • Scrubs
    eliminated three episodes that includes blackface following a fan’s suggestion on Twitter, and the present’s stars and creator addressed the problem on their podcast.
  • The episode “My Fifteen Seconds” was mistakenly recognized as containing blackface, however it was really “My Buddy the Physician” that made references to blackface.
  • The creators of
    , just like the solid of
    It is At all times Sunny in Philadelphia
    , initially did not equate their use of blackface with “conventional blackface,” however now acknowledge the wrongness of their actions and plan to edit the episodes for future streaming.

Through the 2020 Black Lives Matter motion that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, 30 Rock made its personal gesture of contribution in direction of the motion by removing episodes featuring blackface. A fan tweeted for Scrubs creator Invoice Lawrence to comply with go well with, to which he replied, “Agreed. Already within the works.” Three Scrubs episodes have been quickly faraway from streaming solely. The present’s stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison (who play JD and Turk respectively) host the Scrubs rewatch podcast Fake Doctors Real Friends. “There have been three episodes specifically through the years that had situations of blackface,” Braff defined on the podcast. “One was me in a fantasy being Donald, one was [Sarah Chalke] in a fantasy being Donald, and the third was Donald and I attending a black fraternity occasion, him in whiteface, me in blackface.”

For the “Our Difficult Past” episode of the podcast, hosts Braff and Faison have been joined by Lawrence for an episode devoted solely to tackling the explanations these three problematic episodes have been eliminated. Lawrence defined, “A very powerful purpose I wished to do that […] is I did see some issues directed at Donald and Zach and Sarah, and all people ought to know, I feel the rationale the phrase ‘showrunner’ exists in tv is ‘trigger you are the gatekeeper and something that will get allowed on the present, you need to finally take duty for.” Lawrence went on to apologize outright for using blackface, and the podcast mentioned every occasion.


Within the unreal world of Sacred Coronary heart Hospital, intern John “J.D.” Dorian learns the methods of drugs, friendship and life.

Launch Date
October 2, 2001



Season 3, Episode 7 titled “My Fifteen Seconds” was noted by several news sources as being the primary episode faraway from streaming attributable to its use of blackface. Nevertheless, “My Fifteen Seconds” by no means included blackface, and was possible mistaken as the next episode which did. “My Buddy the Physician” options a number of references to black tradition, together with JD judging a black affected person’s household for not understanding a reference to the film Shaft. The joke is appropriately on JD’s ignorance, although, with one of many household sarcastically replying, “Yeah, that is our Citizen Kane.” Scrubs was celebrated for moments like this, through which race could be joked about so long as the main focus is at all times on the suitable topic. One occasion through which this episode drastically missed the mark, nevertheless, was a fantasy the place JD imagines himself as Turk.


‘Scrubs’ Reunion Movie Is “Inevitable”, Says Creator Bill Lawrence

Lawrence can be recognized for co-creating ‘Ted Lasso,’ and ‘Shrinking.’

After Elliot (Chalke) means that JD is not over their relationship, Turk tells JD to think about Elliot with different males, together with Sean (Scott Foley) and Turk himself. In JD’s subsequent fantasies, JD is at all times Elliot’s important different, proving he nonetheless has emotions for her, however in his Turk fantasy, JD is black and carrying Turk’s signature inexperienced scrubs. The episode additionally reveals the Janitor (Neil Flynn) to be a once-aspiring actor, and Dr. Cox (Jon C. McGinley) and Carla (Judy Reyes) take care of getting older. This results in JD’s closing narration being, “Some individuals cover from who they are surely. Others finally settle for who they’re. However generally it is the powerful moments that provide help to understand who you’ve got lastly change into.” Poetically, this speaks to the episode’s removing too, with Braff calling the episode’s blackface utilization, “a teachable second for us all.”

‘It’s At all times Sunny in Philadelphia’ Has a Equally Controversial Historical past

The cast of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia smiling ridiculously for a photo.
Picture through FXX

The subsequent episode to function blackface was “My Jiggly Ball,” Episode 4 of Season 5. At this stage within the collection, JD and Elliot are a pair once more, residing collectively. The episode’s chilly open sees JD think about an amalgam of Turk and Elliot. Chalke performed “Turkiot” in blackface, very similar to Zach Braff had two seasons prior. It hearkens to a later justification made by the solid of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, who insisted their use of blackface was justified since they weren’t representing a generalization of black individuals however quite Danny Glover particularly. They later changed their minds, dedicating a Season 15 episode to exploring this problematic previous. Like with Scrubs, Hulu removed five episodes of Sunny from streaming. Equally, Braff on the podcast commented on this concept in Scrubs saying, “I actually, frankly, on the time delineated in my thoughts between the normal blackface [and what Scrubs was doing]. I am embarrassed to say now, I by no means equated it.”

As expressed in Pretend Docs Actual Pals, the Scrubs group is unanimously ashamed of each occasion of blackface. Very like with “My Buddy the Physician,” “My Jiggly Ball” contains a problematic scene that’s simply edited out attributable to its placement, and depending on your streaming service, might have been edited so as to not lose the episodes of their entirety. Lawrence acknowledged on the podcast that eradicating the total episodes was a short-term resolution, and after the pandemic, he had plans to edit extra acceptable cuts of the episodes for streaming. Fortunately, one creation of streaming companies versus television broadcasts is its much less strict guidelines about runtimes, that means dropping full sequences is not an issue. One minor concern raised frequently on the rewatch podcast, nevertheless, is that Scrubs’ signature soundtrack is being modified attributable to pre-streaming licensing agreements getting in the way in which of the unique music being featured indefinitely.

Creator Invoice Lawrence Felt ‘Scrubs’ Numerous Crew “Had a Move”

Using blackface in “My Chopped Liver” was completely different from the opposite two, however no much less mistaken, in line with Lawrence and the solid. A flashback sees Turk and JD arrive to a black fraternity occasion hosted by a few of Turk’s buddies. As a joke, Turk is in whiteface whereas JD is in blackface. JD himself even addresses his points with the concept, whereas Turk reassures him that whereas they’re collectively, the joke will land. Turk then will get distracted and leaves simply in time for JD to seem alone on the doorstep when a number of black males open the door.

Even if it is a joke about blackface (quite than simply utilizing blackface), Lawrence now sees the 2 as simply as unhealthy as one another. Lawrence remembers that on the time of scripting this episode, they felt that they had “a free cross to not have these ideas again then.” He elaborated:

“As a result of we have been so fucking happy with ourselves for doing a really various present. In entrance of and behind the digital camera. [We had a] nice black and white friendship that exists as a real-life friendship, an amazing interracial couple who’re stars of the present, you understand, so it was nearly a block of vanity. Like, ‘We’re so good in what we’re portraying and doing and exhibiting, you understand? We may by no means enterprise into muddy waters!’ And even now with that very same ignorance, we by no means actually linked the 2 of these issues till now.”

Scrubs is accessible to stream on Hulu within the U.S.

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