A recent episode of the CBS All Access series The Good Fight aired with an alert proceeding the show’s usual animated musical short notifying audiences that the scene had been censored by CBS before airing.
In the latest episode, titled “The One Where Kurt Saves Diane,” viewers expecting the regular Schoolhouse Rock!-esque animated musical segment were met with a black screen displaying a singular sentence: CBS HAS CENSORED THIS CONTENT.
According to Deadline, CBS’ Standards and Practices division took issue with the content of the short, and reached an agreement with series creators Robert and Michelle King to pull the short and replace it with the censorship alert. According to a CBS All Access spokesperson:
“We had concerns with some subject matter in the episode’s animated short. This is the creative solution that we agreed upon with the producers.”
In the episode, a gay, right-wing provocateur (meant to parody real-life provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos) files a lawsuit against a fictional internet search engine named Chumchum, alleging that the search engine has been burying the provocateur’s presence in the search results due to their disagreement with his politics. Whilst an executive at Chumhum denies that the company manipulates search results, it is eventually revealed that the company does manipulate it’s search algorithm, mainly with intent of creating a version of their search engine for China that would comply with the government’s goal of information censorship (an obvious allusion to the real-world controversy surrounding Google’s previously announced plan to launch a censored version of their search engine for the Chinese market).
As the animated short was to be an immediate follow-up to this revelation, some have speculated that the short would discuss the ethical and moral flexibility some U.S.-based companies display in order to break into the Chinese market.
It is currently unknown what specific concerns CBS All Access had with the content of the short.
This is the second instance in recent months that The Good Life has come under fire for its content. Last month, the show featured a scene wherein the character of Jay Dipersia delivers a monologue in support of ‘punching Nazis,’ with the same episode featuring a list of ‘target words’ with an easter egg that featured the words ‘Assassinate President Trump’ listed in sequence. These scenes caused outrage among both those who disagree with the widespread and ill-defined ‘punch a Nazi’ rhetoric and conservatives who viewed the list of target words as a subtle incitement of violence.