HBO Max has halted ‘The Boondocks’ reboot

“I hate to say this, but right now the show is not coming back,” said Cedric Yarbrough, the voice of Tom Dubois.

The revival of The Boondocks, the beloved Cartoon Network animated adult sitcom, has been canceled by HBO Max.

In 2019, the streaming service announced that a reboot of the series would be coming to their platform, but has since not made any public updates about the show’s status.

“I hate to say this, but right now the show is not coming back,” said Cedric Yarbrough, voice of character Tom DuBois, during a recent interview with the Geekset Podcast.

“We’ve been wanting to do the show and Sony…they decided they’re going to pull the plug,” he said, adding that recording sessions for the show had already started. 

The highly successful show first premiered in 2005 on Adult Swim, the mature nighttime programming arm of Cartoon Network which hosts shows like Rick and Morty, Family Guy and Robot Chicken.

The series followed the lives of two brothers, Riley and Huey Freeman, who grappled with the culture shock of moving from Chicago to a very white suburb with their grandfather. The two brothers embarked on hilarious and controversial misadventures. The show was designed to give social and political commentary from a Black perspective.

The show garnered commercial success and critical acclaim, winning three NAACP Image Awards and the Best Choice Animated show at the Teen Choice Awards.

The star-studded cast — including Emmy-winning actress Regina King who voiced both Riley and Huey Freeman, comedian Gary Anthony Williams who voiced Uncle Rukus and acting legend Samuel L. Jackson as Gin Rummy — also helped the show become a staple cartoon for the Black community.

Regina King
Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and four Primetime Emmy Award winning actress Regina King, voices both River and Huey on Adult Swim’s the Boondocks. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In 2019, HBO made the announcement that it would be reviving the show for two additional seasons, updating its satire for the modern era.

The show was to be co-produced by Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Television, and set to return with a 50-minute episode back in the fall of 2020. That, however, never materialized.

Despite the show’s 2014 ending, audiences were able to enjoy re-runs on Cartoon Network before HBO Max acquired all four seasons in 2021.

“Hopefully, maybe one day we’ll be able to revisit,” continued Yarbough, though he did not specify why the show was canceled.

In the past, The Boondocks stirred controversy when it was revealed that two un-aired episodes harshly criticized the Black Entertainment Network (BET) for having low-quality and sometimes anti-Black programming.

In addition, several episodes came under fire and were pulled for being “racially insensitive.”

Audiences and critics have also said that the show’s prevalent use of the n-word was harmful to viewers.

Show creator Aaron McGruder has stood by the show, which is based on his 1996 comic strip of the same name.

“You should express yourself in the art and forget everything else,” he said in an interview with The Undefeated in 2019. “You don’t have to say it yourself. It’s probably less entertaining that way.”

McGruder stepped down as show-runner and execute producer ahead of season four in 2014, but was said to be back on for the revival.

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