The racial slur “nigger” will be heard on “The Carmichael Show,” says its star and creator, comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who spoke to reporters about the decision Monday at an NBC press event in Beverly Hills, California.
“‘N-word’ is childish…say it!” Carmichael said to members of the press Monday. “We know what we’re talking about. We’re not speaking to children.”
Carmichael said the slur will be used “like six times.”
Loretta Devine, who plays Carmichael’s on-screen mother in the NBC comedy, chimed in, noting that while other broadcast shows have aired the slur — such as “All in the Family” and NBC’s “Sanford and Son” — those shows were on television “before political correctness.”
The episode will air in its normal primetime slot (Season 3 returns Wednesday, May 31 at 9 p.m.), but with a parental advisory notice ahead of the broadcast.
Airing the unedited racial slur is notable for a major network, but “The Carmichael Show” has tackled hot-button, taboo issues through its previous two seasons, proving itself to be a topical show that has been applauded by critics, including Variety‘s Maureen Ryan, who wrote that the sitcom is a “show you should be watching.” The 30-minute laffer has had episodes about rape, police brutality, Black Lives Matter, and Bill Cosby’s scandal.
When the Cosby-themed episode aired, NBC executive Jennifer Salke told Variety, “When we decided to move forward with Jerrod’s show, we bought into the idea that this is a show that tackles really uncomfortable conversations that should be happening in living rooms all over the country. When he brought up doing the Cosby episode, we thoroughly discussed it and made the decision that we would support him tackling this area, as long as with any of the episodes that he hopes to do that he’s exploring the different points of view around these kinds of topics.”
Carmichael said, “You can’t be afraid of talking about things like that.”