The sketch in question is called “Know Your Rights” and appeared in the third episode of the show’s first and only season. Netflix confirmed to Variety that the episode has been taken down, but declined to comment further.
Cross first flagged that the sketch was being removed via a tweet on Monday in which he defended the sketch, saying it was intended to “underscore the absurdity” of the character he was playing.
In the sketch, Cross plays a man named Gilvin Daughtry, who says he is part of an organization called “Citizens Against Unlawful Abuse.”
“I’m going to show you how to maintain your rights in the face of police harassment,” Cross’ character says as he films himself pulling up to a police officer played by Keegan-Michael Key.
Later in the sketch, after a string of unsuccessful attempts to provoke Key’s officer, Daughtry returns in blackface and says, “Hello, brother. How can I be of service to you today?” A message saying “every race in America has equal rights” appears at the bottom of the screen. Key’s officer then brings over a white colleague to deal with the situation, and the white cop proceeds to pepper spray Cross’ character in the face. The officer tases Daughtry and sprays him in the face a second time before the sketch ends.
“Hey all, Netflix is going to pull this sketch from ‘With Bob & David’ because the ridiculous, foolish character I play puts on ‘black face’ at one point,” Cross wrote in the tweet. “The point of this was to underscore the absurdity…well, here’s your last chance to figure it out.”
Odenkirk also commented on Netflix’s decision and defended the sketch via Twitter, saying that the duo’s show was “never about making a political point.”
“We considered every choice we made doing our show, and always aimed to make you laugh and think, and never make an obvious or easy point…that very much includes this sketch. Our comedy is always about the human element, never about making a political point,” Odenkirk tweeted.
A representative for Odenkirk referred Variety to the actor’s tweet when asked for comment.