Larry Wilmore Defends Specific N-word Usage at WHCD With President Obama

Larry Wilmore is not apologizing for his perceived White House Correspondents’ Dinner faux pas.

The Nightly Show host on Monday defended his speech against critics such as Mail Online‘s U.S. editor-at-large Piers Morgan, who claimed that the comedian used the N-word when praising President Barack Obama (at the 22:00 mark in the video above).

“Are you saying I called the president a ‘n–ger?’ That’s horrible,” he said, before assuring viewers, “I would never do that. I believe I said, ‘Yo Barry, you did it, my n—ga.’ There’s a difference.”

Wilmore prefaced his explanation by pointing out that even the latter is a “charged word” bound to upset some people, but continued by making “a very important distinction” regarding his choice of slang.

“Piers, you did not properly conjugate that slur. Very important. ‘N—ger’ is what white people use to denigrate, demean and dehumanize black people. And ‘n—ga’ is a term of endearment some black people use between each other to take back that power.”

What do you think of Wilmore’s response to the controversy? Watch the segment at the top of Monday’s show below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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33 Comments
  1. Murica! says:

    He can try to justify it al he wants. It was inappropriate.

  2. Mr. Smith says:

    Who gives a flying freak? Can we not even joke with each other any more? Does everything have to be politically correct?

    Lighten up.

  3. kidstellar says:

    He crossed the line he should be ashamed of himself. It’s oblivious he can’t see that which just shows how ignorant he is.

    • Preacher Book says:

      “It’s oblivious”? Maybe you should fill your own ignorance gap before calling out someone else’s.

      • Murica! says:

        Ohh no. He said oblivious instead of Obvious! He should be punished!!

        Give me a break! He was right. He did cross the line. It was inappropriate.

    • kidstellar says:

      Oblivious was obviously a typo for obvious

  4. Preacher Book says:

    The dinner’s people weren’t the audience but the targets. Wilmore was dead-on with his observations. Like Colbert a few years ago, if you watched the performance on TV, the jokes were funny. If you were in that all-white, rich, socially elite gathering, then you didn’t get it. As to his ending with “Barry”, Wilmore kept it “100” and totally hit the mark. Did you notice Obama thumped his chest in response? He heard the love, the respect and the gratitude. Wilmore was not inappropriate; he was black.

    • Angela says:

      Did you notice Obama thumped his chest in response? He heard the love, the respect and the gratitude.
      .
      This. Clearly Obama got what Wilmore meant and understood the true meaning of that version of the word. He obviously was NOT offended by what he said, so I really don’t understand why this is even an issue.

      • Lucifer says:

        Because it’s inappropriate, but I guess it makes sense for an presidential administration that has participated with BuzzFeed, SNL, Nickelodeon and Disney, along with making music videos, and has a large number of close celebrity friends. Nobody is saying President Obama should be stuffy and have no sense of humor, but he crosses the line and acts inappropriate far too often when he is our commander in chief, not some cheap celebrity or a college kid.

        Still don’t get it? Imagine if we had a female president and then a female comedian said something similar, but used the word “b*tch” instead. Of if we had a gay president and a gay comedian said “f*g” instead. Also, both are terms that people have been trying to make stick as “terms of endearment” as well.

        • MrMank says:

          Wait! You’re not suggesting there’s a double standard coming from the left!! Gasp!

        • Angela says:

          With your second paragraph…so did you completely miss the point Larry made about context, and how words are going to mean different things depending on who’s saying them? The same thing would apply to the women/gays example you give. A woman calling another woman a “b*tch” is going to have a whole different weight and context behind it than a man calling a woman that word. The history and context involved matters heavily. Same applies to gay people using words that straight people often use as slurs, and black people using words that white people often use as slurs.
          .
          The bottom line is, that word was directed at Obama specifically, and he clearly took no offense to what Larry said to him. Therefore, anyone else’s opinions on whether or not it was appropriate are basically irrelevant. It was a moment between those two men specifically. That’s for them and them alone to sort out.
          .
          And I don’t exactly see where Obama’s behaved inappropriately or acted like some college kid, but okay. As for the “cheap celebrity” accusation, well, considering we had an actual celebrity as president (Reagan), and other celebrities run for various political offices over the years (Fred Thompson, Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwartzenegger, to name a few), and now have the three-ring celebrity circus that is Trump running around, that pretty much renders the “Obama’s more of a celebrity than a politician” complaint moot. Politics and celebrity have long been close, that’s not exactly anything new.

          • Angela says:

            I’ll add, too, that for the record, I wouldn’t use any of those sorts of words if I were part of the minority group in question, and that as a woman, I’m not one to throw around terms like “b*tch” or “sl*t” or things of that sort, because there is a valid argument to make for just being bothered by those words in and of themselves, regardless of who’s saying them.
            .
            But in this particular case, given the context and the circumstances and Obama’s reaction, in the grand scheme of things it’s a non-controversy, or should be, anyway.

          • Lucifer says:

            And did my first paragraph fly over your head? My point was that this is not appropriate behavior or language for people running the country or at prestigious events by the White House. I also understand that some people have decided to rebrand or confuse curse words, but it is foolish and silly. Which is why I put quotations around “terms of endearment.”

        • ScottJ says:

          In the context used here as an example the word “b*tch” would most likely be biat** which is sort of an acceptable term. As for the gay word..the gay people I know all use it. The whole point is to de-power certain words.

        • :-) says:

          Actually to your b word comment toward women and your f word comment towards gays both are possible with right president and comedian. I can see Tina Fey or whoopi Goldberg saying that to hillary Clinton. Tina did a whole thing about it on SNL.

    • JM Schmidt says:

      Larry Wilmore was hilarious. His audience may not have appreciated the humor, but I was laughing my sorry white ass off watching it on TV. Larry keeps it real.

    • kidstellar says:

      Are you kidding me? Whether it ends with an a or an er that word should not be used by any of us, especially not when referencing the POTUS. It is sad that the word has become a part of colloquial speech for some people ,but that doesn’t make it okay. We need to do away with the word all together.

  5. Daniel Snowden says:

    Hey look even before the N-word Larry Whitmore Wasn’t funny.
    I was laughing my butt off during the president’s speech. But Whitmore I was silent and He knew was bombing. So of course he used the comedians rule of being controversial that’ll make up for my lack of humor. Well no, You only proved your lack of talent. Go back to writing room and try again.

  6. Tom says:

    He was totally in his right.

  7. Sleaze says:

    Nigga. Any black man or woman should be able to use the word. I use it all the time

  8. herman1959 says:

    No class…I don’t care who it’s coming from.

  9. AngelWasHere says:

    I’m black and I wish EVERYONE would stop using that word. It causes too much confusing and division. Plus it makes blacks look ignorant. Our ancestors would be disgusted to see we have adopted that word as a term of endearment. Using it in the White House was beyond disrespectful and inappropriate. He can try to justify it all he wants, but he was dead wrong.

  10. Bill says:

    It’s hilarious that the only people that get up in arms about this stuff are the white people. They have so much “white guilt” that they need to be offended for everyone.

    • Lucifer says:

      Yes, ignore the black people in the comments saying they don’t like it either along with many other black people who always say they dislike that word – even Buzzfeed featured that in a video. But I guess it’s alright to ignore their black voices since they don’t suit the narrative.

    • kidstellar says:

      are you saying black people can’t be up in arms about him saying the word?