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30 Rock - Believe in the Stars

by Nicholas Sammond

This example of 21st century blackface in 30 Rock opens with Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) hallucinating Oprah Winfrey (in reality a preteen girl) on an airplane. In the next scene, Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) dresses in blonde wig, white tights, white face makeup, with a monster claw on one hand. Shortly after, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krackowski) appears as a black man, in blackface and an outfit from the 1970s. The two are competing over who has it harder within the world, a white woman or a black man. Jack then steps in to argue that white men have it hardest in this country, as they have to come and fix problems like this one. This episode uses blackface in an attempt to critique the deployment of identity as competitive victimhood, and highlights it through Lemon's racist inability to tell the difference between Oprah Winfrey and a teenage girl.

30 Rock - Believe in the Stars

Oprah Winfrey appears in this short clip from 30 Rock, in which Liz Leman on medication hallucinates that she has met Oprah on a plane when in fact she has only met a preteen girl. At NBC, Tracy and Jenna are up to no good, competing for victim status by dressing up in blackface and whiteface.

from 30 Rock - Believe in the Stars (2008)
Creator: Directed by Don Scardino
Distributor: NBC
Posted by Nicholas Sammond