NBC aired the N-word on one of their most popular shows last night and it was shocking for all the right reasons.
This Is Us is a hit show in its second season and centers around a white family (Jack and Rebecca Pearson) who adopted a black son, Randall, and raised him as one of their own when one of their triplets died at birth.
People love this show. People cry tons of real tears over this show every week and they are extremely invested in the characters.
Last night’s episode featured a flashback of the family’s fight to legally adopt Randall in 1981 and tackled real-life issues of race that hit home in more ways than one.
When the couple went to court to legalize the adoption, they faced a judge who didn’t think it was cool for white folks to raise a black baby.
“I don’t believe that child belongs in your home. That child belongs with a black family Mr. and Mrs. Pearson. ..How else will he see himself? Understand who he is?” he says. He’s not really saying it in an evil way, but more in a concerned, confused way, highlighting the fact that lots of people with power probably felt that way in 1981…and today.
Later, Randall is recounting what happened. “I never understood what my blackness meant until a white man called me a n—–.”
The network didn’t censor the word.
For me, the use of the word was appropriate and powerful in the context of the story. If it’s going to be used on television, I would rather it be instrumental in highlighting issues like this and This Is Us did a fantastic job of that.
Sterling K. Brown delivered an incredible performance that provoked empathy and understanding from a wide audience who may not have had an emotional connection to the issue in this way before.
By the way, they obviously end up getting the adoption legalized by a different judge and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) writes a letter to the judge telling him she don’t give a damn what his racist behind believes. Randall is her son and she loves him. Period.
“Randall is my son, whether you approve or not or sign a paper or not,” she penned in the document, along with a photo of their family portrait featuring baby Kevin, Kate and Randall.
“And yes, some things are harder for us … The thing you need to know about us is the Pearsons keep at, we don’t stop. So I suggest you put us up on your wall. Maybe it will help you get you used to our faces because we will keep coming until you do your job,” she concluded, also writing, “Sincerely, Rebecca, Randall’s mother.”
— Denise 🌺 (@_xocarlaaa) November 8, 2017
@enews daily pop has a panel of two WW and one Black man discussing the use of "the N word" on "This Is Us." THIS discussion is exactly why
— Dottie🌹 (@iWRIGHTmymemoir) November 8, 2017
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) November 8, 2017
See all the family photos that line Judge Bradley’s wall (families that he’s finalized)? Notice how none are mixed race?🤔 #ThisIsUs
— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) November 8, 2017
— Deidre (@Yankeefan2975) November 8, 2017
Ugh I'm so mad at the writers because I see where the judge is coming from, but he's wrong about them! #ThisIsUs
— 👩🏾💻 (@Tykeez) November 8, 2017
Omg. They did not just say the “n” word in #ThisIsUs Unbelievable how this is now a sickening display of propaganda from the left. Sick!!
— LMAZ (@americafirst25) November 8, 2017
Instead of being mad at NBC for allowing @NBCThisisUs to use the "N" word without censorship, can we just be glad that there's a show, for the first time in a LONG time, that has been this REAL and allows us to have this kind of dialogue w/ one another? It's important! #ThisIsUs
— B. (@brianneamira) November 8, 2017