Larry Wilmore ruffled some feathers during his speech at the White House Correspondents’ dinner in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night.
Amid a flood of tongue-in-cheek statements, the host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show called President Barack Obama the N-word on live television during his 20-minute speech.
“When I was a kid I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a Black quarterback,” Wilmore said to close his remarks. “Now think about that: A Bblack man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team. And now to live in your time, Mr. President, when a Black man can lead the entire free world.”
Then, to the shock of many, the comedian added, “Words alone do me no justice. So Mr. President, I’m going to keep it 100: Yo Barry, you did it my n***a. You did it.”
While Obama seemed to play along and smile at Wilmore’s farewell, social media was immediately set ablaze with folks chiming in about the crazy never-before-seen-moment at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“I wish white people were as offended by police brutality and mass incarceration as they are by Black people using the N-word. #WHCD,” one Black man tweeted.
Others from the Black community weren’t so quick to applaud Wilmore’s boldness.
In fact, Rev. Al Sharpton came forward calling Wilmore’s move “very inappropriate” especially in the setting of a high class affair with the President of the United States.
“Save your N-word commentary/thinkpieces, we don’t want them. Sincerely, the Black community #WHCD,” one man tweeted.
For some it wasn’t so much him saying the N-word as it was tainting Obama’s last WHCD.
“Larry Wilmore was disrespectful to President Obama and his last dinner. He was GROSS,” a woman tweeted.
But saying the N-word wasn’t the only thing deemed controversial during Wilmore’s time on the mic.
The predominately white dinner attendees didn’t roar with laughter when he said, “MSNBC is here tonight. Yep, which actually now stands for ‘Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents’ … MSNBC got rid of so many Black people, I thought Boko Haram was running that network.”
Wilmore was actually boo’ed when he joked, “The treasury promised to put Harriet Tubman’s face on the 20 dollar bill … but now we have to wait until 2030 … Women haven’t been this deceived by a bill since Cosby.”
When the audience disapproved he said, “Oh, like I did it.”
“Most of Larry Wilmore’s jokes either weren’t funny or crossed the line. Obama’s speech was much better. #WHCD,” one viewer tweeted.
The president’s speech was filled with laughter and a memorable exit when he ended by saying, “Obama out” before dropping the mic.
I wish white people were as offended by police brutality and mass incarceration as they are by black people using the N-word. #WHCD— Brandon E. Patterson (@myblackmindd) May 1, 2016
SAVE YOUR N-WORD COMMENTARY/THINKPIECES, WE DONT WANT THEM.— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 1, 2016
Sincerely, the black community #WHCD
Most of Larry Wilmore's jokes either weren't funny or crossed the line. Obama's speech was much better. #WHCD— Ryan Herbert (@RyHerbs) May 1, 2016
(Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)