Marlon Wayans N-Word's Come a Long Way But Still Not Right for 'Empire'

3/31/2015 11:30 AM PDT

Marlon Wayans -- N-Word Has Come a Long Way ... But It's Still Not Right for 'Empire'

EXCLUSIVE

Count Marlon Wayans among those who believe the world is not ready for the N-word on "Empire," because what big company wants to be associated with that?

Wayans was leaving the gym Monday afternoon when our photog asked him about the topic that seems to have divided the show -- Terrence Howard is for using the word, but some of the writers and Taraji P. Henson are against it.

It doesn't sound like Wayans is against using the word in general -- you gotta hear his slave chains metaphor -- but he thinks sponsors would drop like flies if Lucious Lyon started tossing it around.

Making money? Lucious can respect that.