Deleting Problematic Episodes of Shows Is Modern-Day Book Burning

(AP Photo/Adult Swim)
AP featured image
This image released by Adult Swim shows characters, from left, Riley Granddad and Huey in a scene from the “Breaking Granddad” episode of the animated series “The Boondocks,” airing Monday, April 21 on Adult Swim. (AP Photo/Adult Swim)


Lately, one of the trendy things to do in the entertainment industry is to delete episodes that may contain scenes or themes that rub today’s sentimentalities a little raw.

According to the Daily Wire, various episodes are being deleted by HBO due to the humor and content not aligning with today’s pop culture:

 The affected shows are the raunchy, adult-oriented animated comedies: The Boondocks, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and The Shivering Truth. 

As reported by the Daily Beast, the episodes were pulled without warning or announcement. Their absence was only later noticed by users on Reddit“Eagle-eyed Redditors first noted the absence of Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Season 6 episode ‘Shake Like Me’ from the series’ page on HBO Max in June.” 

The premise of one indicted joke, from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s “Shake Like Me,” is that a black man becomes radioactive and proceeds to bite another character, transferring to him stereotypically African American traits and mannerisms.

As the Daily Beast added, a second guilty offender was an episode called “Boston,” which parodied a real-life bomb scare that was tied to the animated series’ feature film release in 2007.

The Adult Swim network defended its decisions in a statement, claiming the offending episodes have been “permanently retired due to cultural sensitivities,” adding that they have no plans to air them again. “When Adult Swim transitions series to a new platform … we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies. Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show’s creators.”

I can’t help but think it runs eerily similar to the book burning various cultures would get up to when the culture changed. Nazi Germany was famous for burning books that didn’t match up with the ideology of the day.

“And thus you do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past,” Goebbels said of the burnings. “This is a strong, great and symbolic deed – a deed which should document the following for the world to know – Here the intellectual foundation of the November Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage, the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise.”

I can’t help but hear Goebbels as these episodes are deleted. The idea of an evil spirit that once dominated the culture to create these problematic episodes is being purged in the name of the “righteous” cause of social justice, a new spirit they wish to triumphantly rise.

Episode deletion doesn’t look half as dynamic as a book burning. There are no leaping flames and cheering crowds. Episode deletion is a quiet thing that many people may not even hear about, or worse, care about because they don’t ever watch that show.

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the show, the fact that things are being deleted because they don’t jive with today’s popular opinion is not a good thing at all. Today, it might be “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”; tomorrow, it might be episodes of “Last Man Standing.”

It might just be episodes of shows but regardless, it’s information about our past and culture being erased. Good or bad, it’s ours, and I would rather have that information around to either enjoy or learn from later.

It’s disgusting that there are elements of our society that have learned absolutely nothing about the mistakes of the past, but if the social justice advocates have proven one thing to us, it’s that history and learning aren’t exactly their strong points.

This is exactly why the hard-left mimics Nazis so often.



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