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Trump-themed 'black-ish' episode that was cancelled in 2018 now available on Hulu

The episode, titled "Please, Baby, Please," was originally scheduled to air during the Emmy-nominated show's fourth season in February 2018.
The Johnsons go on vacation at an all-inclusive beach resort in paradise in a Jan. 21, 2020, episode of ABC's "black-ish."Byron Cohen / ABC

Kenya Barris, creator of "black-ish," announced that a politically charged episode of the show that was pulled by ABC in 2018 is now available on Hulu.

“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves,” Barris wrote on Instagram Monday, adding that he hopes the episode inspires some "much-needed conversation."

The episode, titled "Please, Baby, Please," was originally scheduled to air during the Emmy-nominated show's fourth season in February 2018, but has not been publicly released until now.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode features Anthony Anderson's character, Dre, reading "Please, Baby, Please" — a children's book by Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Spike Lee and his wife, producer Tonya Lewis Lee — to his son, Devante.

While reading the book, Dre incorporates commentary about his feelings on President Donald Trump a year after the election, referring to Trump as "The Shady King." In another scene, Dre debates whether athletes should take a knee during the national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality and racial injustice. The episode also touches upon a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., during which a counterprotester was killed.

"We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future," Barris wrote on Instagram. "Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of."

At the time, an ABC spokesperson told Deadline that the network decided to pull the episode due to unreconcilable "creative differences."

However, the cast's stars have spoken out about the network's decision in the years since, with Tracee Ellis Ross calling ABC's move "frightening" and Anderson lamenting that Barris had "given his blood, sweat and tears" to the episode, only to have it shelved at the last minute, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Barris told outlet that he had tried to incorporate ABC's suggested cuts in the episode, but was ultimately dissatisfied with the end result.

"What it ended up being, and I think the network would agree, was not a true representation of what we intended to do," Barris said. "Because if it was, we would've shown it."

Amid a national reckoning on racism in the wake of the the death of George Floyd, "Please, Baby, Please," has found a new home on Hulu, which was bought last year by The Walt Disney Co., making it a corporate sibling of ABC when it was bought .

"I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available," Barris wrote. "Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed."

Neither Hulu nor ABC responded to NBC News' request for comment on Tuesday. However, Barris thanked ABC in his post for "allowing this moment to happen" and the "black-ish" cast "for never shying away from tough conversations."

"Black-ish" is currently up for four Primetime Emmy Awards and is to return for season 7 this fall.