Following a lamented hiatus since 2010, Adult Swim will premiere the fourth and final season of its profane, animated satire The Boondocks next month, featuring the full return of voice acting cast members Regina King and John Witherspoon as well as series regulars Katt Williams, Charlie Murphy, and Sway Calloway.
Adult Swim has confirmed, however, that series creator Aaron McGruder was excluded from development of the new season.
As McGruder is busy working on the imminent first season of Black Jesus—the producer's latest, live-action comedy series for Adult Swim—he claimed last week via Facebook status that the network has seized exclusive control of The Boondocks television series and its promotional properties.
Apart from the brief statements on McGruder's social media pages, neither McGruder nor Adult Swim have offered further comment on why, exactly, McGruder isn't involved in the new season.
McGruder first launched the critically-acclaimed Boondocks comic strip in 1996, initially between the folds of the University of Maryland's Diamondback newspaper and The Source magazine, before Universal Press started syndicating the strip in 1999. Cartoon Network optioned and launched the TV adaptation in 2005, with McGruder as the lead writer and Seung Eun Kim directing.
Through the comic's conclusion in 2006, and the TV series' stalling in 2010, McGruder and The Boondocks drew frequent criticism from conservative commentators and black intelligentsia alike. The characters' fondness for the word "nigga," the overheated invectives against the Bush administration and white American power, the ensemble parody of minority stereotypes—it's so far unclear whether the TV series will retain such edge despite the absence of its notoriously brash creator, a guy who called Condoleezza Rice, an early fan of McGruder's strip, a "mass murderer" to her face in 2002, as he shook her hand.
The Boondocks won an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Comedy Writing" in its third season, and a Peabody Award for its first season episode in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., survives the 1968 attempt on his life, only to despair the predominance of crunk hip hop and Usher and Soul Plane in his old age.
The Boondocks' final season premieres April 21.