We’ve watched week-after-week as FOX’s Empire brought us storylines dealing heavy issues such as homophobia and mental illness within the black community — but could the use of the n-word be next?
If Terrence Howard had his way, yes.
He told Entertainment Weekly,
“If we start getting silly, if we start playing to people’s fancies, then we don’t deserve to be where we are. It’s a big pressure because I want to be a truth sayer. I want to raise the bar. I want to get rid of this f–ked-up word called PC. I think it’s a gate for bigotry because as long as you’re politically correct, you can say anything you want but feel some way different.
“I’m mad that we don’t say ‘n–ger’ in the show,” he continued. “Why is TV showing something different from the reality of the world? Why is there a thing called censorship that stop people from hearing everyday talk? We use n–ger every day. It’s become part of a conversation—why aren’t we using it in the show?”
In another interview with Access Hollywood Live, Terrence elaborated further on his position:
If we’re gonna really tackle racism, if we’re gonna tackle bigotry, if we’re gonna tackle homophobia, we need to tackle it dead on. You don’t just sit up and ‘Let’s give it little aspirin right here.’ No, we need to take the sutures, open up the problem and reach in and grab it. And since n*gga is used in almost every conversation in most black neighborhoods, why is that we don’t hear it on TV anymore? Are white people afraid of it? Did they create the word? If [the word] is something we use on a daily basis, then let’s address what it really means.
Martin Luther King said we should be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin. But we’ve reverted back to judging by the color of our skin and making excuses because things have happened in our lives. So we need to address it straight up and down. As long as we keep calling each other n*gga along the way, we’re gonna treat each other like that.
Thankfully, there are people (besides us) who disagree with Terrence. Last year, show creator Lee Daniels said that the world wouldn’t be use because of its negativity.
Recently, Taraji P. Henson spoke out to TMZ saying she doesn’t think the word should be used on the show because ‘it’ll piss people off.’
Check out clips below of Terrence’s interview Access Hollywood Live as well as Taraji’s view on the word below.