TV network Adult Swim revealed that it removed episodes from series such as The Boondocks, The Shivering Truth, and Hunger Force due to “cultural insensitivities.”
This revelation came to light when Reddit users pointed out the fact that Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s “Shake Like Me” episode was taken down from HBO Max back in June. The episode originally belongs to Season 6 and is an homage to the seminal race text “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin.
In the episode, a Black man is turned “stereotypically” Black in terms of his appearance and manner when he gets irradiated by the toxic waste bites Shake. Though the episode was found to be deleted in June, it was available for a short period during August, before it was taken down again.
Another noteworthy episode that was taken down from Aqua Teen Hunger Force was “Jimmy Rebel,” which centers around the relationship of Uncle Ruckus and a western singer who was both racist and aggressive.
Talking about why Adult Swim ended up dropping the two episodes, a representative from the TV network said to The Daily Beast:
“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.”
Even The Shivering Truth’s third episode “Ogled Inklings” was also dropped because of the “sensitivity around current events.”
While not publicly commenting on skipping a few episodes from a number of series is itself sly, putting up banners that state “every episode” is available for streaming on HBO Max makes the censorship even worse and is false advertising.