Terrence Howard Is 'Mad' He Can't Say the N-Word on Empire

Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard Is 'Mad' He Can't Say the N-Word on Empire

Actor feels censorship is a "gate for bigotry."

Published February 28, 2015

Empire is one of the most envelope-pushing series on network television, but if star Terrence Howard had his way, they would take it even further.

The actor tells Entertainment Weekly that he wants his character Lucious Lyon to use the n-word on the show. “If we start getting silly, if we start playing to people’s fancies, then we don’t deserve to be where we are,” says Howard of the show’s success. “It’s a big pressure because I want to be a truth-sayer. I want to raise the bar. I want to get rid of this f***ed up word called PC. I think it’s a gate for bigotry because as long as you’re politically correct you can say anything you want but feel some way different."


"I’m mad that we don’t say n**** in the show,” he admits. “Why is TV showing something different from the reality of the world? Why is there a thing called censorship that stops people from hearing everyday talk? We use n**** every day. It’s become part of a conversation — why aren’t we using it in the show?”

We know show creator Lee Daniels isn't one to ever shy away from controversy, so we wouldn't be surprised if Empire had a few more jaw-dropping moments up its sleeve this season. As for Howard's wish to use the n-word, that's probably not ready for prime time just yet.

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(Photo: Catrina Maxwell/Getty Images for SCAD)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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