Carmichael Show Star: It's 'Criminal' for NBC to Pull Mass Shooting Episode

Jerrod Carmichael was not supportive of NBC’s decision to pull an episode of his eponymous sitcom in wake of Wednesday morning’s shooting in Alexandria, Va. 

The episode, titled “Shoot-up-able,” was set to air Wednesday night and feature Jerrod returning home after surviving a mass shooting (at a shopping mall). NBC ultimately decided not to air the installment, replacing it with another episode that was to air later this season.

In a clip from Netflix’s Chelsea, filmed on Wednesday as NBC was still mulling its options, Carmichael said it would be a disservice for the network not to follow through and air the episode as planned.

“I understand a corporation making that decision, but really, to me, what it says is that you don’t think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue and something that reflects… something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims,” Carmichael said. “We handled the episode with as much love and integrity as we possibly could, but to pull [it] is just criminal.”

Pulling TV episodes that might hit too close to current events is of course nothing new. Last summer, The Last Ship postponed its Season 3 premeiere in the wake of the Pulse tragedy, due to a scene involving a nightclub shootout, while Supergirl and NCIS: LA pulled terrorism-themed episodes after the November 2015 Paris attacks.

The Carmichael controversy comes just one week before NBC is scheduled to air another buzzed-about episode: As revealed in March, the June 21 installment is will include uncensored, multiple uses of the N-word, and is set to air with a parental advisory warning.

A new airdate has not yet been announced for “Shoot-up-able.”

Do you agree with NBC’s decision to pull Wednesday’s Carmichael episode?

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20 Comments
  1. Anne says:

    I think there’s an important distinction as to how the subject matter is handled. Pulling the Last Ship and Supergirl episodes make sense, because ‘terror’ is being used as a plot device. With the Carmichael Show, if the point is to talk about it, and deal with the emotions and impact of global events…then I think it should be allowed to air, maybe with a warning

    • Sam says:

      I 100% agree with all of that. This is when people need to hear smart POVs the most. Especially with all of the gross politicking surrounding the tragedy.

    • webly3 says:

      Strongly agree. The Carmichael Show isn’t using these issues merely as a plot device. They dissect these issues. It was dumb for NBC to pull it.

    • I don’t watch the show, but isn’t this a comedy?

      Even if it was an 80’s/90’s “very special episode” type of show scheduled, there still would be jokes on the matter at some point.

      It’s just not appropriate to laugh at it so soon after what happened. We don’t need a scripted account of a similar instance, when we saw the real life horror unfold before our eyes.

  2. Lethargic says:

    Here’s a crazy idea. Let the audience decide if they want to watch it or not.

  3. Billy meacham says:

    U could’ve at least let us know ahead of time if you’re going to pull the episode at the last minute. I didn’t see not one thing on Facebook about the episode being pulled.

  4. Et al says:

    NBC is pulling this but still airing the Alex “Sandy Hook was a hoax” Jones interview? That’s disgusting.

  5. Big Cheddar says:

    They pulled it, and just aired a different new episode instead. As long as they air it eventually, I don’t see what the problem is with NBC showing some taste.

    • peterwdawson says:

      They didn’t tell the showrunner ahead of time, and the show likes to explicitly explore hot-button issues. There’s genuine discussion in the relatively safe-ish bubble of a comedy. Poor taste would be airing, say, a hypothetical crime drama episode where a politician is murdered in a public shooting and the episode just focuses on catching the perpetrator.

  6. kalli says:

    I feel like pulling shows like this is just maximising the ripple impact from the trigger incident. Someone goes and does something, people get hurt, and it ripples out and reaches us in our homes because suddenly our routines are disrupted too. It sends a message to people doing the things that they will get attention; they will make an impact, their message will reach people etc. etc.
    Like, after 9/11, there was no normal television in Australia for a week. People had to actually write into the station to stop every single one just streaming CNN. Sure, 9/11 was bad, but it shouldn’t stop people’s livelihoods in Australia. Same way a shooting in one state shouldn’t mean a whole country misses an episode, especially when that affects the people who made it, and they weren’t the ones to decide not to show it.

  7. Ally Oop says:

    With the hundreds and hundreds of mass shootings down there in the States, each year, mass shootings have become a normal part of American life and as such should be featured on television storylines. Why pull it now rather than last week or the week before? Dumb. I’m so glad to not live in the U.S. You guys need gun control so badly and it baffles me that the mass shootings keep happening and nothing changes. And before a whole whackload of people accuse me of being anti-gun, I have 5 guns in my house but I have a PAL (a government-issued license that is not necessarily easy to obtain) and I had to take a 2-day gun safety course first. If I committed a violent crime, anyone reports concerns about my mental health or if I threatened anyone, my guns could be confiscated immediately.

    • Angela says:

      Seriously. I can understand the “out of respect” argument, but I do find it funny how we’ll immediately pull shows with violent content in the wake of a mass shooting, but god forbid we make a move to do anything about the actual guns themselves.
      .
      I don’t own guns myself, nor do I have any desire to, but it is good to hear from somebody who does own guns supporting gun control. I would think many gun owners would argue for gun control so they don’t have to worry about being surrounded by morons who don’t have the first clue how to properly handle a gun.

      • Hannah says:

        After the Orlando shooting last year, a huge poll on gun control was conducted, and 92% of respondents said they were in favor of expanded background checks. That 92% had to include *a lot* of gun owners. There are are an insane amount of gun owners who support gun control if done correctly, but sadly too many politicians take money from a certain super PAC to vote against any gun control measures instead of voting in the best interest of their constituency.