Having recently vanished from Netflix, Mad Men is now back on streaming—and it’s brought another data point in the ongoing question of what Hollywood intends to do regarding its periodic use of blackface in the process. The series is now, per Vulture, set to re-emerge onto AMC’s own subscription-based network (and also online service IMDB TV, where it’ll be airing first, and for free). Besides including all seven seasons of Don Draper’s decade-spanning efforts to come up with a really top-notch jingle for Coke, the series will also come with a new disclaimer, specifically for third season episode “My Old Kentucky Home.” That is, as you may have already guessed, the episode where John Slattery’s Roger Sterling puts on blackface in order to serenade his new wife.
Following in the footsteps of HBO’s recent attempts to contextualize Gone With The Wind, the show’s distributors have opted not to remove the scene or the episode from circulation. Instead, the installment will be preceded with the following disclaimer:
This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America. One of the characters is shown in blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963. In its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society that continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today and who we want to become. We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety.
Other recent shows to address the issue of blackface in American TV have included 30 Rock, Scrubs, Community, The Office, and W/ Bob And David. The Mad Men incident is notable, not just in the decision to keep the content in, but in how its primary purpose was always to make audiences uncomfortable, depicting—as the show so often did—one of the unpleasant truths of life in the 1960s.
Mad Men arrives on IMDB TV on July 15.