• N-Words coming soon to NBC

    by  • June 7, 2017 • NBC, Profanity • 48 Comments


    It may not be among George Carlin’s infamous seven. But as we’ve seen just this past week, the ‘N-word’ on television is a verbal lightning rod for controversy and anger. And rightly so, given its historical connotation of racism and hatred in our nation. In light of the firestorm brought on by Bill Maher’s recent use of the word on HBO, the PTC is sending an advisory message to parents that the ‘N-word’ will air at a time and place where children are likely to be watching.

    The program at issue is the June 21st episode of The Carmichael Show on NBC. We understand and appreciate that The Carmichael Show has tackled a number of hot-button issues. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Carmichael himself stated that he intends to use the word in an adult manner, and not like children would use the word. But we also know that children will be watching the show, hence our parental advisory.

    Are you concerned about the N-word being used in an upcoming episode of The Carmichael Show? Is it ever appropriate to use the ‘N-word’ on television? I asked a few friends who are in the media business and/or are members of the PTC’s leadership team if they would share their insightful opinions.

    Dr. Delman Coates, a member of the PTC Board of Directors and the Senior Pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, offered the following comment:

    Some with whom I have shared this have stated that, while they don’t like it, they need to see context. The corporate advertisers should preview the show to see if they want their brands associated with the slur, regardless of context.

    Morris W. O’Kelly, or Mr. Mo’Kelly as he is known to his listeners on KFI AM 640 here in Los Angeles, offered the following comment about Bill Maher’s recent use of the ‘N-word’ on HBO:

    The problem with Bill Maher and his “joke” last night is just that. He has no investment, no involvement, no responsibility, no burden to bear with the word or the history it entails. It was and could only ever be…a joke. He has never been called it, threatened with it; mocked on his job with it, had relatives killed in connection to it. It was and could only ever be…a joke. This has NOTHING to do with who “can” say it or who “does” say it. No one should. Nobody gets a free pass with me. Nobody.

    Paul Porter, a member of the PTC’s Advisory Board, cofounder of Rap Rehab and author of his new book,
    Blackout: My 40 Years in the Music Business, offered the following comment:

    NBC and the Carmichael Show are in need of a history lesson. The N-word was created by slave masters, and any excuse for airing it in prime-time is simply lowering standards on the backs of slaves. If NBC allowed the N-word in the office, I might understand their feeble excuse that the show doesn’t target children. I’m an adult who doesn’t want to hear it at all.

    Malcolm Spellman, a writer on the Fox TV hit series
    Empire, offered the following comment:

    It is a uniquely inflammatory word that strikes directly to an unresolved issue that defines our nation, whether we want to admit it or not. It is a genie that was released from its bottle by hip hop, without instructions for suburban kids who had it mainlined through their headsets. In fact, older African Americans were still debating it furiously in barbershops while their younger kin sold it on iTunes. Carmichael has the right mind and courage to use his platform to add some much needed dialogue to a word that flies without a care by some, yet devastates others.

    So what do you think? I’d really like to hear your opinion.



    Tim Winter is president of the Parents Television Council. He has more than 20 years in broadcasting, cable, internet and new media technologies, along with a law degree.

    48 Responses to N-Words coming soon to NBC

    1. Lavendergray
      June 11, 2017 at 10:05 am

      ABSOLUTELY wrong on so many levels! Television is so full of trash I have to wonder what grade level of people are even watching most of the programming out there.

      Including this ‘slur’ does nothing more than degrade a group of persons, and encourage white supremacy which is such an egregious cancer in our society. No ‘color’ was created any more supreme than another. No matter WHAT someone might convince themselves to believe.

    2. June 11, 2017 at 10:38 am

      I think that is stupid to allow such garbage on TV. The only TV show that i find to be suitable for everybody including little children is Wheel of Fortune. Nice and clean. Me and my grandmother used to watch it when I was at her house in Webster Groves, MO. My grandmother told me that free speech should be granted as long as it’s clean. At least that is the way the free speech rule used to be. Not only NBC is a bad channel, but so is ABC, and Fox. Fox will even lie about the content in the shows they broadcast by making it look though that sexually explicit scenes or dialog is ok for children when they know it’s not. On Fox, only TV show that airs that is good is “Hour of Power” which is a televised church service. When “Leave it to Beaver” aired, language was very clean. I hope the advertisers keep a sharp eye on the shows that they support and what they should do is that if there is a show that contains sexual content, profanity, or violence, then they should withdraw their support immediately..

    3. Barbara
      June 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      I am appalled to say the least!!!! Why is stuff like this promoted????? Even the commercials that are shown are pretty disgusting. We need to promote love , peace and kindness. It’s no wonder the world is like it is today. I am very concerned for our children and grandchildren. Is there no regard for them in what they see and hear????

    4. Gary
      June 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      “N” word, vulgarities, slanderous words….. All the same and should not be allowed on radio or TV. When I was a kid it was not allowed, but then around 1964 for some reason they allowed either “damn” or “hell”; I forget which it was and by 10 years later it was really bad. Question is, what does it add to anything? My Dad raised us saying that using this kind of language just showed one’s lack of command of thd English language. You know what? My Dad was correct!!

    5. mark
      June 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      The “N-word” was created by blacks with lazy-tongues. It’s simply a SLANG word for “negro”…nothing more. The N-word can be freely used as long as you’re not CALLING a particular person or group that word. And even if you do, it’s only rude or impolite to do so. It doesn’t rise to the wrongfulness of an actual CUSS word.

    6. Not So Free
      June 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      I find it ironic that after all these years of people getting yelled at for using it (in print and otherwise) and worse, ‘we’ are now bringing it to television.

      We really do live in interesting times.

    7. Joyce Baskind
      June 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      I remember when the n-word was used in Sanford & Son. I was a young kid, and my mom told me that word was a swear word and that I was never to utter it.
      I agree with my mom and I hope that the network reconsiders allowing the n-word on the air without bleeping.

    8. James Healey
      June 11, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Read what Steven said! I grew up in the segregated South when and where that word was commonly used–It was vile then and it is vile now!! Given how disgusting NBC in its many forms has become, I am not surprised! I would not doubt that they did this just to get noticed!!

    9. judy
      June 12, 2017 at 8:02 am

      If blacks can say the word so can any of us! they are no better or worse than the rest of us. No special treatment to any of us

    10. Linda Baker
      June 12, 2017 at 8:43 am

      I do NOT want to hear the n word in any context!!!!! This fight between black and white should already be over!!!!! Both sides have not let go of the past and moved on. When we get cut, both bleed red, our bodies re made up of the same material and works the same way. God created us all. They only thing is some have ancestry that makes their skin a different color. We all are created the same way and we all die. Where the difference comes from is in our minds. If I think you are different then to me you are but the facts never change–we are the same. It is about time we take a good look and change our minds and our actions and start living like the PEOPLE we are not what we think we are. Don’t stir the stink, clean it up!!

    11. Alfred J Murphy Jr
      June 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      I’m white and I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want my kids or grand kids hearing such degrading language either. They hear enough trash on the TV and radio as it is.

    12. Patricia mccurry
      June 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      I think it is disrespectfull,crude sounding unnecessary uncalled for and a downright shame.it should be banned

    13. Marian
      June 12, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      I am white and detest the word and all it’s demeaning implications. I have been around long enough to have plenty of experience hearing some groups of blacks refer to each other using the word the way one uses words like child or friend, or instead of the person’s name.

      It makes my heart sink when I hear it, because even the times it’s said with a tone of affection, the meaning of the word must be ingrained like part of a person’s DNA that imprints a self image that can’t be uplifting; it seems to me.

      I am glad this discussion is taking place and hope that the word does not find a comfortable home on TV!

    14. Mary-Anne Delaney
      June 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      I have always been against that word. Even back in the 70s when it was used on Sanford and Son and The Jefferson’s. Now I understand that they say replacing the “er” at the end of the word with an “a” is socially acceptable and a replacement for the word friend (except when it is used by a white man on a political show). I hear kids of all colors use that word as a replacement for friend. If they want racism to stop, everyone needs to stop using that word in any form.

    15. Krisstina
      June 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      I watched the episode before coming here to comment. It was the first episode of the show that my husband and I have seen and we’re considering adding it to our DVR lineup. In my opinion, the word wasn’t used in an offensive way. I felt that it was done in a tasteful, thoughtful way, opening up a discussion on the show about the power given to that word. In the end, the characters who felt strongly about their positions didn’t change their opinions but, as a family, their opinions were accepted with respect even by those who felt very differently. I’m certainly not going to change my language choices as a result of watching the show, but after watching I understood their desire to open up that discussion.

    16. Wayne Gilbert
      June 27, 2017 at 8:38 am

      It is a step backwards. At school age in the
      Civil Rights Era, I was taught that it was
      improper. I also think it is hypocritical when
      blacks say it amongst themselves.

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