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 premiere 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 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?