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Published on May 8th, 2017 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Norman Lear removes the power from the ‘N-word’ on his new podcast


In this week’s episode of Norman Lear’s new podcast, All of the Above on PodcastOne, he delivers his iconic brand of activism in a conversation about race relations with The Carmichael Show creator, actor, writer and comedian Jerrod Carmichael. Also discussed are Jerrod’s approach to stand-up comedy, the significance of starting conversations for social progression and creating art that keeps you alert, along with politics, past and present. The episode is available now on, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts.

It was recently revealed that Carmichael would be incorporating the “n-word” into his network sitcom. In the podcast, Lear leads his sidekick, Paul Hipp, and Carmichael in a countdown to remove the power our culture gives to the taboo word, which the trio explains only increases divide in our society. They do this by saying the word in unison.

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

On the “N-word”:

Lear: “Wouldn’t it be better if the word nigger was available? Making it the worst thing that could ever happen, so that nobody can say anything but the ‘n-word’ – isn’t that a curse on the word and communication?”

Carmichael: “It’s a curse on the word and childish, and does more harm than good. People think – the intention is it’s stopping hatred, but it doesn’t stop hatred and it doesn’t stop, you know, painful language…What it does is preserve a word and make it more dangerous…If we free the word then, perhaps, it will be less dangerous and we – you won’t feel the need to fight the person who says it.”

Hipp: “Take the power away.”

Carmichael: “Exactly. Take the power away from it.”

Lear: “You know what I’d like to do for the audience, who never gets to hear anything but the ‘n-word?’ I’d like to say, in three minutes, one of us will use the n-word, so that they have a chance to call all their friends and let them know that the n-word is going to be spoken in three minutes.”

Carmichael: “We’re setting our watches? Alright.”

Lear: “As a matter of fact, if you have time, you might want to call neighbors, and start a party.”

Carmichael: “Make it a drinking game, if you will. Take a shot every time we say it.”

Hipp: “Did you have to fight for that episode, to be able to say it?”

Carmichael: “It’s some pushback. It’s some concern, but we say it with the best intention. It’s always for the sake of discussion, you know, and that’s what’s fun about this format, is that it’s for the sake of discussion. We want to talk about it, and we want to talk about why you should use it at times and why you shouldn’t use it, and it’s a pretty balanced argument…I’m really excited that I’m here for this groundbreaking.”

Lear: “5…4…3…2…1.”

Lear, Carmichael, Hipp:Nigger.”

Carmichael: “By the way, that may be one of the greatest moments of my life…I think we’ve done so much for race relations in that moment. A couple of people are angry. Good for them, though. I hope a couple people got angry, and I hope a few – I hope more people felt enlightened.”

Carmichael’s Parting Thoughts on the New Podcast:

Carmichael: “There’s a really great energy in here. I’m so happy you’re doing this. This is beautiful.”

Definitely worth the conversation…the full podcast is very much worth hearing…tune in here ~ JD


Soon to be 95, Norman Lear has lived a life of many talents. He had a front-row seat to the birth of television: writing, producing, creating or developing more than a hundred shows. He had nine on the air at the same time and continues to executive produce as founder of ACT III Productions. Lear went beyond the screen and founded the 300,000-member liberal advocacy group People for the American Wayand was presented with the National Medal of the Arts by President Clinton. Norman also purchased an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and toured it for ten years in all fifty states. Norman can be found on Facebook and Twitter@TheNormanLear

Courtesy of “All of the Above with Norman Lear on PodcastOne.”

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Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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