Viewers have seen the FOX series tackle homophobia and mental illness among other plights. Now, Terrence Howard, who stars on Empire as Lucious Lyon, wants the hip-hopera to tackle yet another taboo subject: the usage of the N-word.
Howard recently chatted with Entertainment Weekly about his sentiments surrounding the word being featured in upcoming scripts and plot lines.
“I’m mad that we don’t say ‘nigga’ in the show,” he revealed. “Why is TV showing something different from the reality of the world? Why is there a thing called censorship that stop people from hearing everyday talk? We use ‘nigga’ every day. It’s become part of a conversation—why aren’t we using it in the show?”
Citing censorship as the culprit behind a lack of authenticity on television, Howard called being politically correct a “gate for bigotry.”
“If we start getting silly, if we start playing to people’s fancies, then we don’t deserve to be where we are,” he continued “It’s a big pressure because I want to be a truth sayer. I want to raise the bar,” he said. “I want to get rid of this f–ked-up word called PC. I think it’s a gate for bigotry because as long as you’re politically correct, you can say anything you want but feel some way different.”
Regardless of how ordinary Howard believes the N-word is in mainstream society— some of his fellow Empire co-stars and colleagues beg to differ. Creator Lee Daniels and co-star Taraji P. Henson openly disagree. Henson, who plays the fiery Cookie Lyon, recently caught up with TMZ and her response to the issue was: “No, you might piss people off.”
Do you think the usage of the N-word on Empire would be offensive? – Richy Rosario