Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock Hurl N-Word ... During 2011 HBO Special

12/23/2018 6:50 AM PST

Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock Hurl N-Word On 2011 HBO TV Special

Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais and Chris Rock hurled around the n-word during a TV chat back in 2011 ... and it's getting a lot of criticism now -- the question, what about then?

The conversation aired as part of an HBO special called "Talking Funny." Chris Rock calls Louis C.K., "The blackest white guy I know," which unleashes Louis, who asks, "You say I'm a n*****?"

There's a discussion of using the n-word in comedy.

Jerry Seinfeld does not use the word, and says he never has.  

The group then discusses the use of the term in comedy and in public vs. private life. Seinfeld chimes in, "I don't think he can do that." On the other hand, Louis C.K. says he and Gervais use the word in private.  

The clip is getting a lot of heat now, but back in the day there was not much public criticism. Entertainment Weekly praised the special and does not criticize the use of the n-word.