Wayne Brady criticizes Louis CK and Ricky Gervais for using n-word in old video
In 2011, HBO released Talking Funny, a one-time special starring four comedy legends: Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais. The four icons have an intimate, unscripted conversation about crafting comedy. It's a fascinating, funny discussion, but one segment has not aged super well.
In a resurfaced clip, the comics discuss using the 'N-word' on stage, which is like navigating a minefield if you're white. However, CK appears to have no problem with the slur. He proceeds to casually use the N-word multiple times while Rock just laughs, totally unfazed. (And yes, this the same Louis CK who is currently trying to make a comeback after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.)
"You're the blackest white guy I f***en know," Rock tells CK. "You're saying I'm a n*****?" asks CK. "Yes," says Rock. "You are the n*****est f***en white man I have ever..." “I don’t think he could do that," says Seinfeld, referring to CK saying the N-word on stage. "You don’t even understand," interjects Rock. “You don’t really know him like that. I work with him.”
"I wouldn't use [the N-word] anywhere," states Seinfeld. "No, these two," starts Gervais, referring to Rock and CK. "These two say..." "Say n***** on stage," finishes CK. "You guys don't!" "Who says n***** on stage?" asks Gervais. "We don't." "You just did," Seinfeld points out, and Gervais concedes, "Yeah..." At which point CK jokes, "You and me say n***** in private," prompting another wild cackle from Ricky.
"I've given [the N-word] up, just because it's played," state Rock. Then CK tells Seinfeld, "I don't think you've ever said it in your life." "No, never," admits Seinfeld. "You've found the humor of it. I've never found it. Nor do I seek it." Then CK jokes, "You know what though? Jerry all of a sudden having a great n****** bit would be pretty amazing!"
Over the weekend, the seven-year-old clip went viral, sparking outrage on Twitter. Former ESPN host and current Atlantic writer Jemele Hill wrote, "I know black folks who are completely comfortable with white people saying the n-word in their presence. Have had to tell a few white folks that I’m not that black person. Still it says something the only person who was uncomfortable was Seinfeld.”
She added, "Note how proud Ricky Gervais was of the fact he used the n-word. And Louis CK basically said he’s one because black folks ain’t shit. Chris Rock is getting crucified, but those other two deserve massive smoke."
But you know whose opinion we really need on this controversy? Wayne Brady! TMZ caught up with the Whose Line Is It Anyway? star at the Los Angeles airport to get his two cents on the segment.
"It was inappropriate," said Brady. "Louis CK shouldn't have been saying it, Chris Rock shouldn't have signed off on it, Ricky Gervais sure as hell shouldn't have said it — and I'm a big Ricky Gervais fan. Seinfeld stayed out of it, but that doesn't make him a hero or a saint - it just makes him tactically smart."
The Let's Make A Deal host continued, "But on the flip, it's also an old tape. And this thing of old things being drudged up - it happened. I'm sure that Chris addressed it at some point... I just think it's completely inappropriate that Louis CK felt so comfortable [saying it]... Just don't. I don't care if your best friend is the blackest dude in the world. Don't."
Well, there you have it. If you want to use an N-word this Christmas, make it 'Noel'.