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Mum's the Word on N-Word for Funnymen

12/3/2006 2:02 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Has Michael Richards' racist rant made the n-word forbidden comedy fruit? How taboo is it, really? Is it taboo enough for the biggest, brashest African-American comics to ban it from their own acts?

TMZ contacted Dave Chappelle, DL Hughley, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer and Katt Williams through their reps, and their response was uncharacteristically laconic. Last week, comedy vet Paul Mooney, who was a writing partner of Richard Pryor, and who appeared on "Chappelle's Show," said he was forsaking the word in his comedy henceforth -- but since then, none of his younger colleagues have taken a similar pledge.

One source, who has worked with almost all of the comics, tells TMZ that Richards' screed will probably end up being a boon to all of them, providing them not just with material, but stoking interest in their acts -- and whether they'll use the word and how often. The renewed focus on the n-word and its implications will, says our source, no doubt give the word itself added piquancy on stage, "until it becomes calloused and overused again."


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Queen Bee    

You all are some dumb ass people to sit here and actually write words like "i wonder why it's okay for blacks to use the N word an we whites/other races can't"...umm lets see maybe because the N word was founded by whites during slavery, used to attack black slaves verbally and to down grade the race all together. Just like whites can call each other the C word or the H word to put it plainly but if someone else was to say it you their face it would become offensive. Same goes with hispanics. Noone wants to be called a name outside of their character. But blacks, if you were to learn your history, started to even refer to each other using the N word even during slavery times to one joke around each other and two to put someone down as they saw their "masters" do the same. I don't agree with anyone using the N word or any other racial words. And onto the whole "blacks are the most racist race out here today" line, let me say this, the united states is a very racist country and there are still lynchings happening today (yes black people are still getting lynched), there is racial profiling, blacks are getting shot every day for just walking down the street or for just living in an area where crime is high. Blacks isn't the "racist race" out here today, check your statistics on hate crimes. But when it comes down to racial issues, tv shows and news websites draws even more attention to it making it seem bigger than what it is. One thing is forsure, this website is full of racist people who jumps at the opportunity to dis blacks every chance they get. Each time I read comments on here, there is always one or even more concerning bigotry even if the article wasn't even about race. so people grow up, learn your history, and try to speak like you got some type of common sense and book sense before you even leave a comment.

2844 days ago

Brit_ney Rulez    

Ok, so one side says, "white people should be able to use the 'n' word" and another side says, "black people should be the only ones allowed to use the 'n' word." And back and forth it goes, for weeks, months, years, etc.

Let me tell you what is wrong. It's not who can use the word and who can't. What's wrong is that a lot (not all) members of BOTH sides are either not willing or not able to crawl out of their own a**holes long enough to see another point of view, much less empathize with someone they don't agree with.

The moment that more than half of people in this WORLD learn to truly empathize and LISTEN to others, then progress will truly be made.

2844 days ago


Why is it a black person can say the n word and it is okay, but if a white person says it, we are racial? My husband had a woman at work say she was the head "n*gger" in charge. We are called honkies and cannot say anything about them, and while I try not to be prejudice, I think everyone is to a point. We never did allow our kids (or my parent's me) to say that word. It is just dirty.

2844 days ago

My two cents    

To Black and Not offended: I found your blog very insightful and I wish every single human being (White, Black, Asian, and otherwise) had the same attitude as you. I am happy you didn't allow racism to deter you from what you wanted out of life.

I take the stand here that if Jesse Jackson is going to grandstand on the use of the N word, this should apply to every single human being, white, black or otherwise. I do not buy into the fact that an African American can use the term as a term of endearment. That is just a crock of crap.

While we are discussing slavery issue here, let me state a very important FACT. While some of you are grandstanding on the fact that Africans were sold into slavery and that "I" should learn my history, how about you check history yourself. White people were sold into slavery TOO in Europe AND Asia. You don't hear me bitching about that...nor does any other white person scream from the top of thier lungs about how the White Man is owed something for THAT. All of this is HISTORY...THE PAST. Just what is it going to take for everyone to get over it--something that our ancestors is time to get over it...period.

And to a few others here with your comletely VICIOUS comments and insulting terms to others here...take your foul mouths somewhere else.

To everyone else here, I mean no disrespect to ANYONE. I have my opinion and you have yours...and I think that some of you know that. I am not here to fight with is opinions and I think we can banter back and forth here nicely...

2844 days ago

george vieto    

Afro Americans use that nasty word as a method to talk to their brothers. It is forbidden for a person of another race to use it because it brings up painful memories of the slave era. If Afro Americans comics want to use it, knock yourself out.

2844 days ago


i am sick of the N word, always have always will be. i detest name calling, no matter WHAT the situation. I'm sick of blacks screaming racism. Al Sharpton, who Michael Richards apologized to, accused 6 policemen of raping tawana brawley back in 87. he was lying. remember that? amazing how we soon we forget. Jesse Jackson had a child outside of his marriage. they are ' glorious 'civil rights leaders! great examples!good gawd, if you dont like it, move on. gloria allred is nothing but an ambulance chaser. if these 4 fools that are suing REALLY want to get money, they should donate anything Richards has to give them to charity.

2844 days ago

Brit_ney Rulez    

I for one do not blame these stand-up comics for not responding right away (about their stance on the future use of the n-word). They're smart, in my opinion, to hang back and think things through, because obviously it is a hotbed issue that offends many people easily. I don't think we should begrudge them their reputations as popular, funny comics. They're just trying to do what's best for their careers, and that is not a crime.

2844 days ago

Brit_ney Rulez    

What I think is strange is that as different as we all are, we all hold the two following things in common:

1) we are all the targets of racism at some point in our lives, and yet
2) we are also responsible for at least some racism as well
...yet we want to blame someone else for both. I guess it wouldn't hurt to explore our own roles in keeping racism alive and well in our own ways. As it has been said, "if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

We should all reflect on what racist attitudes we hold and work to change them.

2844 days ago

My two cents    

Wow Look in the Mirror...Amen to that. And to Steen- Fully agree. They should feed the poor. Let's hope they don't go out and get some snazzy Benz with it.

2844 days ago


I have noticed recently that white people call each other " white trash" or "tralor trash" ( whatever) . I know I am not crazy - saw it with my own two hazel eyes on some of my favorite shows ie; My name is earl, the office who had one of the best lol show on trying NOT to be offenive to others , and of course it maid matters worse! Was I affended- NO- I am mixed and proud, and I also enjoy the hell out of Chris Rock, D.L. Hughly and Katt Williams and the greatest Richard Pryor etc. , Roseanne, Grace under Fire( she always talked about being white trash). I feel we all know when the person if funny and when the person is real hate. The best comics in my opintion are the ones that hit everybody , cause Lord knows we all do something to embarrass our race at some time in our lives. And by the way # 15 I am educated , and watch PBS and Discovery Channel , I not sure why you feel thats something every one should do - I like to laugh - life is hard and then you die-you might as well have some fun along the way.And as Howard Stern says ( and yes I am a female and i enjoy him too OK!?! )just change the channel and go your own way, Enough said. Peace and Love :)

2844 days ago


I think that's pretty cool. The word would mean so much less if it got used in a way that invalidates it. White people are the new n*ggers. It doesn't bother me.

2844 days ago


keep in mind that the views represented here are not indicative of most of society.

some people are writing sincerely; but there are posters here that are just looking for a reaction. they say stupid things, they write stupid, they spell stupid, frankly my dear ....they ARE STUPID.

I do not see why even try to reason with the "white power" crowd. We all know who they really are: crooked- yellow-toothed-stringy-hair losers who were social outcasts, from the getgo.

well, guess what 'white power" hark from the violent likes of TED BUNDY, JEFFREY DAUMER , Mark Chapman, Natalie halloway's killer, homosexual meth addict minister HAGGARD....

so, keep on deluding yourselves, FREAKS! Any insult coming from you is truly a complement! ha ha ha ha!

we've seen your tired old posts, filled with the same stupid spelling errors elsewhere...

so keep on talking, and sink your own ship! it's hilarious that you be so DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2844 days ago

Heather Day    

damali ayo, an author and conceptual artist, and author of the book "how to rent a negro" has some interesting commentary on this whole n-word discussion...

check out this video

2844 days ago

My two cents    

Tenderisthenight: I had to laugh at your post. You have the nerve to shoot everyone around you down for their lack of grammer or spelling? I suggest strongly that you go back and read your post. You lack proper grammer AND I certainly found some misspelled words, so before you start in on a RANT, I suggest you make certain you do not make of fool of YOURSELF. As you would put it, "Ha-Ha-Ha".

Another thing: If you were intelligent, you would know there are plenty of African American murderers. Oh, and one more thing, in regards to Natalie Halloway, her murder has yet to be solved, so why are you so quick to name her murderer as a white man? For all we know, her murderer may be a poor old Chinese woman!! Oh yes, I forgot: you are ignorant, but I hope you take that as a compliment!!

2844 days ago

Bobby Digital (aka The Whiza)    

If you turn on any black comedic routine I guarentee you he/she says something discriminating about white people. But, its no big deal. However, if a white person says anything remotely degrading about a black person its considered a crime. If Bernie Mac would have exploded on a bunch of white hecklers calling them "crackers" or "honkeys" the men would have been escorted out of the building and that would have been the end of it. But, if a white man does it he gets those same racial slurs thrown right back at him and has to leave the stage. Could you imagine if a white audience member would call a black comedian the "N" word in a nightclub like that im pretty sure he wouldnt make it out of his seat without getting the sh*t kicked out of him. I think its time for black people to start showing people of different races more respect, so in turn they'll recieve some. I mean do on to others as you would do to you. I know blacks put up with sh*t but most of it is because they bring it upon themselves. When are people of other races other than black going to realize that we are the ones being racially victimized in this "former" great country.

2844 days ago
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