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the rapidly changing social issues of the U.S. South, such as race and sexuality, in a way that would be considered outdated by today’s standards.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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Abby Dyer of Shawnigan Lake School. (Submitted)
Shawnigan Lake School poet wins to prize

Abby Dyer has won first place in the Senior Poem category in the Legion’s Youth Remembrance Contest

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has applied for a $199,000 grant to upgrade its emergency communication systems that are used during such events as the major windstorm that hit the Valley in 2018 (pictured).
CVRD looks to upgrade emergency communications with grant

Staff say communications issues plague emergency response efforts in area

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Brent Clancy, president of the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce, takes down the signs at the Lake Cowichan Visitor Centre, which closed its doors for good on Jan. 31. Mayor Bob Day says the possible creation of a Town tourism committee is not a response to the closure. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Town of Lake Cowichan looking to form tourism and housing committees

Decision not related to the Lake Cowichan Visitor Information Centre closure

“Representing the school district, legion, and Kaatza Station Museum left to right are Georgie Clark of the museum, Wilma Rowbottom of School District #66 and Ernie Spencer, representing the Legion. The museum and Legion, along with the Village will each take a piece of the old wood shop.” (The Lake News)
Lake Flashback: Soapboxes, woodshop split, taxes down

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Most Read