Michael Richards’ meltdown
The former Seinfeld shocked the whole country with his vicious, epithet filled tirade against black audience members who had allegedly heckled his stand up act. Richards went on a contrite apology tour appearing on radio shows of Revs. Jackson and Sharpton. Black comedian Paul Mooney said at the time that Richards’ use of n-word made him re-think using it himself.
John Mayer overshares in Playboy interview
In a controversial Playboy Q&A published last year, Mayer said he was recently asked, “What does it feel like now to have a ‘hood pass?” He went on, “It’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a ‘hood pass, you could call it a ni**er pass.” Mayer also claimed he didn’t date black women because his member was a “white supremacist”.
Dr. Laura’s n-word rant
The conservative radio host used the n-word over and over again while she berated a black woman on the air for complaining about her white husband’s racial insensitivity. Dr. Laura was forced off the air — but not for long.
Mel Gibson’s mad phone calls
Americans were horrified when unhinged recordings of what appeared to be Gibson surfaced last year in which he suggested his estranged girlfriend would be “raped by a pack of wild ni**ers.” To date, Gibson has never acknowledged or apologized for the remarks publicly.
Oprah vs. Ludacris
In what was supposed to be a polite promotional appearance for the film Crash, Oprah Winfrey went after rapper Ludacris for his (and other rappers) use of the n-word in their lyrics. The confrontation sparked a feud between the talk show host and allies of the southern rapper that has never fully been resolved.
N-word to be removed from Huck Finn
A contentious debate is ongoing as to whether or not a publishing company is correct to remove the n-word from new editions of the Mark Twain classic. Proponents of keeping the text as is argue that Huck Finn is an honest reflection of its era and that the n-word’s presence adds to its power.
Nas names his album Ni**er
In 2007, hip-hop icon Nas got into a prolonged battle with his label and some fans when he announced his intention to name his new album Ni**er. “We’re taking power [away] from the word,” <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1572287/nas-explains-controversial-album-title.jhtml
”>Nas said the time. The backlash forced Nas to back off. The album was ultimately entitled Untitled.
Charlie Sheen calls white women the n-word
For the second time this decade actor Charlie Sheen allegedly called a white women the n-word in the midst of a drug and alcohol fueled fight. Most observers were simply puzzled by the highest paid actor in television’s insensitive behavior.
Whoopi vs. Elizabeth Hasselbeck
The View ladies erupted into a very heated debate over when and how the n-word is used during the 2008 election. Whoopi told Hasselbeck flatly, “We live in two different worlds.”
ALF blooper reel is released
Late last year a racial slur-filled “blooper reel” from the 80s hit ALF was leaked online and shocked viewers. The ex-producer’s response: “Lighten up.”
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The n-word has been in the news a lot lately. From the controversy over plans to remove it from Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn to the Philadelphia court case where a judge will rule over whether its use is appropriate in the workplace. This inspired the staff theGrio to look back. These are some of the most highly publicized scandals involving this infamous racial slur.