Delta Burke appears in blackface during an episode of “Designing Women” in a photograph from the CTV app and captured on an iPhone in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. The image was showcased prominently in the mobile version of the CTV Throwback app, as part of highlights for Black History Month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe O’Connal

Delta Burke appears in blackface during an episode of “Designing Women” in a photograph from the CTV app and captured on an iPhone in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. The image was showcased prominently in the mobile version of the CTV Throwback app, as part of highlights for Black History Month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe O’Connal

CTV pulls Delta Burke blackface photo in Black History Month package on CTV Throwback

CTV has since removed the blackface image as well as the full episode of ‘Designing Women’

CTV says it made an “error” by placing an “offensive image” of actress Delta Burke in blackface among its TV program highlights for Black History Month.

A spokesman for the broadcaster says the blackface picture, taken from an episode of 1980s hit “Designing Women,” is one that “should not have been used in any context.”

CTV has since removed the blackface image as well as the full episode of “Designing Women.”

The photo was part of a rotation of images in the CTV Throwback section of its mobile app that directed viewers to popular Black-led sitcoms on the streaming service from decades past, including “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times” and “Sanford and Son.”

Sandwiched between those images was a still photo from “Designing Women,” which featured the blackface-wearing Burke alongside her Black co-star Meshach Taylor.

It was taken from a 1989 episode titled “The Rowdy Girls,” which revolves around the sitcom’s stars being booked to perform at a talent show as Motown legends the Supremes.

The group debates whether to play their parts in blackface and ultimately concludes it’s not the best decision. However, Burke’s character doesn’t get the message and shows up with her face painted anyway to sing alongside her friends.

“Designing Women,” set in Georgia, often grappled with the rapidly changing social issues of the U.S. South, such as race and sexuality, in a way that would be considered outdated by today’s standards.

The episode has been in circulation for decades and is still available on Disney-owned streaming platform Hulu in the United States.

However, when CTV representatives were asked by The Canadian Press about the decision to feature a blackface photograph among a selection of Black sitcoms, CTV pulled the full episode of “Designing Women.”

The company later took down the blackface image as well.

“This was an error, it’s an offensive image that should not have been used in any context,” said Marc Choma, director of communications at Bell, in a written statement.

CTV said in a separate statement that it is reviewing the entire catalogue of programming on CTV Throwback to “identify and remove any offensive content.”

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Undersea cables are towed out into position. Photo Baylink Networks.
SRD looks at last-mile agreements for Connected Coast project

District to borrow up to $12 million — pending electoral approval

Crews work on construction of the new composting facility at the Campbell River landfill. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Environment group wishes Comox Strathcona compost site was in a better spot

Province has guidelines on siting, but they are not legal requirements

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
COVID-19 exposures reported for two Campbell River schools

Campbell River Christian School and Ecole des Deux Mondes are the schools involved

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program starting up next week

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read