Per The Daily Beast, fans on Reddit noticed that several episodes of the shows were absent from HBO Max, where both Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Boondocks are available to stream. Missing episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force include Season 6's "Shake Like Me," which features one character performing a stereotypical depiction of a Black man, and the incomplete Season 5 episode "Boston," a parody of the 2007 bomb scare caused by advertising for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. Fans also noticed that "Shake Like Me" had suddenly reappeared on HBO Max in August, only to disappear a few days later.
Other fans discovered that the Season 3 Boondocks episode, "The Story of Jimmy Rebel," which is one of several episodes of the show that have been "banned" and centers around Uncle Ruckus' relationship with a white supremacist country singer, was not available to stream on HBO Max or Adult Swim. (Other "banned" Boondocks episodes, including "The Hunger Strike" and "Pause," are available to stream, and HBO Max currently has a two-season reboot of the series in the works.)
Adult Swim has also "temporarily rested" an episode of the stop-motion series The Shivering Truth because of "sensitivity around current events." The episode, titled "Ogled Inklings," features a segment where a pregnant woman gives birth to a police officer who is then called a "dirty pig."
A representative from HBO Max told The Daily Beast that "Shake Like Me" and "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" were unavailable because "neither of those episodes are part of our streaming deals" with Adult Swim. A separate representative for Adult Swim said that the episodes have been "permanently retired due to cultural sensitivities." The same representative told the Daily Beast that "Ogled Inklings" would return to streaming when The Shivering Truth debuts on the platform.
"When Adult Swim transitions series to a new platform, we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies," the representative added. "Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show's creators." (The Daily Beast notes that Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder declined to comment.)
The news comes after a summer of creators retroactively pulling racist episodes of their shows from streaming. Episodes of 30 Rock, Community, The Golden Girls, and many more were removed due to their depictions of blackface, though Adult Swim notably didn't release an official statement about the retiring of their episodes.