The use of the N-word on syndicated television is not a new phenomenon that will fade any time soon. After comedic political commentator Bill Maher carelessly and foolishly said the word on his show, public outrage followed. Leading sitcom star Jerrod Carmichael is taking things a step further to combat the issue, using his show The Carmichael Show as a platform to address the N-word and its use on primetime TV.
The word was used six times without edit in an episode that went live on air on Wednesday. Carmichael previously announced the word would be addressed on his show back in March, but after Bill Maher’s blunder, one HBO called “inexcusable and tasteless,” Carmichael had new reason to address a word so many find offensive.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carmichael spoke on why he felt the word should be addressed, and how he convinced NBC to take such a risk, albeit a careful and well-planned one.
“We actually have had this conversation in my family a bunch. My mother is just against everybody using the word. She doesn’t want white people to use it, she doesn’t want black people to use it, she doesn’t like hearing it. She associates it with pain and thinks that the removal of the word is the removal of pain. And my grandmother, who lived through Jim Crow ’60s, thought the word was fun. She would say it and we would joke and she would laugh. It was fun watching my mom get really angry while my grandma and I just said ‘n—er.'”
Read the rest of the interview in its entirety here at The Hollywood Reporter.