After a gunman opened fire at a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday, injuring Republican Congressmen Steve Scalise, NBC decided to pull an episode of "The Carmichael Show" that focused on gun violence.
Series creator Jerrod Carmichael filmed his appearance on Chelsea Handler's talk show as the network was still deciding whether or not to air the episode. In a preview clip from the interview, posted today by Netflix, the comedian explained why it would be wrong to pull the episode from the schedule.
Carmichael noted that tragedies like Wednesday's shooting truly effect everyone, not just a single group of people saying, "We all are victims when something like this happens. We all suffer from fear of going out, fear of enjoying your life, and we all suffer from the pain of knowing families have lost loved ones.”
He went on to comment on why he thought the episode should have aired, as an opportunity to start a conversation.
"I thought that the episode would have an opportunity to talk about these tragedies in a meaningful way, to really lend itself to conversation," Carmichael said. "A lot of times when things like this happen and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that's not the news, people will say 'too soon.' But when is it not too soon? Unfortunately, these things happen constantly, and it's a thing that breaks all of our hearts."
Titled "Shoot-Up-Able," the pulled episode was set in the aftermath of a mass shooting, with Carmichael's character dealing with sympathy from friends and family, as well as the troubling process of detailing what he witnessed to police.
"I understand a corporation making that decision, but really, to me, what it says is that you don't think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue and something that reflects real family conversations and something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims," Carmichael said. "We handled the episode with as much love and integrity as we could. To pull that is just criminal. It does a disservice to the viewer, it does a disservice to you, it does a disservice to all of us."
Season 3 of "The Charmichel Show" is already being dubbed it's most controversial season yet. Carmichael told TooFab ahead of the show's season premiere that the sitcom will be putting a comedic spin on a number of sensitive subjects, including rape, artificial beauty, suicide, supporting the troops, Alzheimer’s and the N-word.
"I get inspired by the discussion in the writers room and whenever someone get’s emotional about a topic," Carmichael said at the network's summer press day.
NBC has not confirmed if they plan to air the episode at a later date, if at all.