Published May 08, 2017There's a headline we didn't expect to write today. Legendary television writer and producer Norman Lear has pushed the envelope for decades thanks to his work on shows like All in the Family, The Jefferson, Good Times and many others, not to mention his work as a social activist. Now, he's taking on the n-word.
Lear recently had comedian and present-day sitcom star Jerrod Carmichael on his podcast "All of the Above," and their conversation turned to the taboo word. Carmichael has decided to start using it on his new sitcom The Carmichael Show, which has resurrected the debate about whether or not the word is best kept off-limits.
On the podcast, Lear argued that the word would lose its insulting power if everyone could say it. "Wouldn't it be better if the word n*gger was available?" he asked. "Making it the worst thing that could ever happen, so that nobody can say anything but the 'n-word' — isn't that a curse on the word and communication?"
Carmichael added that the word is "more dangerous" as a taboo, saying, "It's a curse on the word and childish, and does more harm than good. People think — the intention is it's stopping hatred, but it doesn't stop hatred and it doesn't stop, you know, painful language."
At that point, Lear said he wanted one of them to use the word. Then he, Carmichael and co-host Paul Hipp chanted the word in unison.
"By the way, that may be one of the greatest moments of my life," Carmichael said. "I think we've done so much for race relations in that moment."
Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter for the tip.