Amidst a current media environment where major studios have taken to memory-holing any production that has even the slightest chance of specifically offending the most overtly-sensitive of modern sensibilities, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish has made it clear that his company’s Paramount Plus service will not be engaging in this practice.
Bakish broached the topic of his studio’s historical catalog while fielding questions from The Guardian regarding recent rumors that Paramount may be interested in purchasing and subsequently privatizing local British broadcaster Channel 4 – all of which he ultimately declined to comment on.
Addressing audience members who may at any time feel compelled to call for a given piece of content to be outright removed from availability, he added, “It’s all on demand – you don’t have to watch anything you don’t want to.”
As noted above, Bakish’s outlook toward the ever changing tides of offense and cultural acceptability marks him as a noted outlier among his competitors, who in contrast have no qualms with buckling to public pressure at even the slightest hint of outrage.
In 2020, Netflix removed a scene from the ninth episode of The Office’s ninth season, Dwight Christmas, and the entirety of the 14th episode of Community’s second season after some viewers took offense to each episodes’ respective black face jokes – neither of which endorsed the act, but rather drew their humor from how certain characters were ignorant to the fact that it is still highly offensive.
In light of this outrage, Tina Fey also requested that multiple episodes of her sitcom 30 Rock, which featured similar jokes centered on the concept of blackface, be removed from any and all streaming services.