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Fighting a (likely) futile FCC battle, Terrence Howard is turning the last week of press for Empire as campaign for why he'd like to be able to say "n****r" on Empire. On Monday, on Access Hollywood expanded on why he's fighting for that on this specific show: because he views Empire as necessary to "break the terms and agreements of [what is] P.C. And it exposes P.C. for what it is—straight-up B.S. It allows us to hide bigotry."
"I believe if we're gonna really tackle racism, if we're gonna tackle bigotry, if we're gonna tackle homophobia, we need to attack it dead-on. You don't just sit up, you know, let's give a little aspirin right here; no, we need to take the sutures, open up the problem and reach in and grab it," the actor explained.
"And since n***a is used in almost every conversation in most black neighborhoods, why is it that we don't hear it on TV anymore? Are white people afraid of it? Did they create the word? But if this is something that we use on a daily basis, then let's address what it really means."
And what does n***a mean to the "Empire" star?
"Oh, it could mean love; sometimes it's a noun; sometimes it's a verb; sometimes it's an adjective; it's all, there's a spirit attached to it," Howard said. "My dad uses it. My brothers use it. I use it. I'm sitting here, I'm hoping maybe I won't use it with my son, but I don't know if I'll be honest if I didn't use it with my son. You know, my friends use it. I call my white friends 'what's up, my n***a?' You know, that's, it has taken on this term to us, but it's blown out of proportion outside the world."
Howard then gave tips on how white people can use it—because he wants to use it with his white friends—"drop the -er." He says he hasn't talked to Lee Daniels about the issue specifically, but that they use it during texts, and that it's real. Removing it from society is the P.C. that Howard is calling B.S. on—because it's impossible. But using it with complete removal of the past would be more "honest."
Howard closed, "and if anyone has a problem with it, they can kiss my fucking ass." The host (white) applauded.
Howard does have interesting points, but it's unlikely that Fox will oblige. At least, for his sake, he got to drop the word (bleeped) on Access Hollywood, while talking eloquently—as himself—about the issue. As for the writers, and the rest of the cast, Howard might be alone on the n-word island until Daniels opines.