Adult Swim 'Retires' Controversial Episodes of 'The Boondocks' and 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force'

The network confirmed certain episodes were pulled from streaming services "due to cultural sensitivities." A spokesperson said the removal was permanent.

The Boondocks

Image via Getty/Stephen Shugerman

The Boondocks

Adult Swim has pulled several episodes of The Boondocks and Aqua Teen Hunger Force "due to cultural sensitivities."

The network confirmed the removal Tuesday, months after Reddit users noted multiple series episodes missing from streaming platforms. As pointed out by the The Daily Beast, the episodes in question included "Shake Like Me" from Aqua Teen Hunger Force's sixth season and "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" from The Boondocks' third season. The former—a reference to John Howard Griffin's 1961 book Black Like Me—follows Shake as he "learns what it's like to be a stereotype" after being bitten by a Black man. The latter episode centers on Uncle Rukus relationship with a racist country singer whose discography includes titles like "Real N*****s Never Die" and "They Just Smell That Way."

An Adult Swim representative told the Daily Beast these episodes were "permanently retired due to cultural sensitivities."

"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," the spokesperson said. "Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show’s creators."  

The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder reportedly declined to comment.

Adult Swim's confirmation comes more than a year after HBO Max announced a two-season, 24-episode order of The Boondocks. The animated series premiered on Adult Swim in 2005 and ended its four-season run in 2014. It was previously reported that the reboot would premiere sometime in fall 2020 with 50-minute special episode.

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