As we draw closer to the end of the first season of EMPIRE, the show’s star Terrence Howard is speaking up about utlizing the n-word on the show.
During a recent appearance on Access Hollywood Live, Howard explained how his character ‘Lucious Lyons’ is a Black version of Archie Bunker (i.e. racist, bigoted, homophobic) and he weighs in on why he feels using the n-word on EMPIRE could be a means a defusing racism.
For the record, Howard’s view differs from costar Taraji P. Henson, who has said publicly that she?s against the of the word, but he feels it?s time to get real. The Oscar nominee wants to drop the stigma surrounding the word which he believes would make the Lee Daniels hip-hop drama feel more authentic.
I believe, 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.
Since ‘n*gga’ is used in almost every conversation in most Black neighborhoods why is it that we don?t hear it on TV anymore? Are white people afraid of it? Did they create the word? But if this is something that we use on a daily basis, then let?s address what it REALLY means?
Interesting… what DOES the n-word mean exactly? Howard explains his take on it in the video below…
The EMPIRE star explains during his appearance on Access Hollywood how continued use of the ‘N-word’ in Black culture should be faced head on.
Martin Luther King said that we should be judged on the content of our character and not by the color of our skin but we?ve reverted back into judging each other 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 and as long as we keep calling each other n**** along the way, we?re gonna treat each other like that.
Oh, it could mean love, sometimes it?s a noun, sometimes it?s a verb, sometimes it?s an adjective, it?s all, there?s a spirit attached to it, you know. My dad uses it, my brothers use it, I use it, I?m sitting here, I?m hoping maybe I won?t use it with my son but I don?t know if I?ll be honest if I didn?t use it with my son, you know my friends use it, I call my white friends ?what?s up my n****??, you know that?s, it has taken on this term to us but it?s blown out of proportion outside the world, so I don?t know.
Howard also notes that he and the show?s creator, Lee Daniels, use the n-word amongst each other during private conversations:
Yeah, Lee, I don?t know. I mean when me and him talk to each other we use it on a daily basis, our texts, this is what we use. Whether Lee gets mad about this or anybody gets mad, I?m just being honest.
As a warning tho… Howard instructs Whites who choose to use the word to proceed with caution:
The word is used, so if one person can use it then everybody should use it, but if white people use it, you gotta remember to take the ?er? off of it and if somebody got a problem about how I feel about it then kiss my monkey a**?