Mad Men Gets Streaming Deal, Will Add Disclaimer Before Blackface Episode

Mad Men has found new streaming homes in Amazon Prime and AMC and will add a disclaimer before a season 3 episode that features Roger Sterling in blackface.

Mad Men Streaming Blackface
Photo: Frank Ockenfels 3 | AMC

Despite being off the air for half a decade, AMC’s classic period drama Mad Men has found itself in the middle of quite a busy week. 

On July 1, Lionsgate, the production company behind Mad Men, cut deals with Amazon and AMC (the show’s original network) for streaming and re-run rights to the series. All 92 episodes of the show will be available to stream on Amazon Prime’s IMDb TV channel on July 15. Amazon Prime also received international rights to the show and will make it available to stream around the world soon. Meanwhile, AMC’s portion of the deal will begin in the fall and will mean that the network will be able to re-air episodes and also host them online for streaming video on demand purposes. 

Additionally Starzplay will host the series in Europe, Latin America and Japan beginning Oct. 1.

Of course, Mad Men re-enters the streaming world at a time when many streaming providers are re-thinking some of their library title’s use of blackface in certain episodes. Netflix and Hulu have struck one episode of Community from their servers. At the creators’ request, Hulu has also removed three episodes of Scrubs and several more of 30 Rock. Mad Men, however, will take a different approach to its sole episode depicting blackface, according to Variety.

Ad – content continues below

The season 3 installment “My Old Kentucky Home” features a moment in which ad executive Roger Sterling (John Slattery) dons blackface to sing the episode’s title song at a party. Neither the scene or episode will be removed but instead the episode will feature a disclaimer when viewed on Amazon Prime’s IMDb TV. The disclaimer reads:

“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.”

Recently HBO Max adopted a similar disclaimer policy for one of its library titles in Gone with the Wind. As protests for racial justice sprung up across the country. WarnerMedia removed the film from its servers entirely before adding it back with historical context.

Mad Men was created by Sopranos-writer Matthew Weiner and premiered on AMC in 2007. The show is set at ad agency Sterling Cooper in the 1960s and follows lead character Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and several others throughout the decade.