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Larry Wilmore criticized for using word ‘nigga’ at Correspondents’ Dinner

Larry Wilmore (Photo Credit: Twitter/ @larrywilmore), President Obama (Photo Credit: Twitter/POTUS)

Larry Wilmore (Photo Credit: Twitter – @larrywilmore), President Obama (Photo credit: Twitter –@ POTUS)

This past weekend, President Barack Obama attended his last White House Correspondents’ Dinner to great applause and humor. The event was tinged with biting satire and political jabs at the current presidential candidates as well as political issues. The comedic host this year was Larry Wilmore, host of the popular cable program “The Nightly Show” on Comedy Central.  It was understood that Wilmore would interject race into his routine as he does on his show, and he landed some zingers. Among them that “Fox News would cover the event — “Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.” and a direct insult to Don Lemon and his role as a Black journalist.

But what surprised the audience was when Wilmore actually dropped the N-word.  Wilmore joked:

“I’ve always joked that I voted for the president because he’s Black. Behind that joke is a humble appreciation for the historical implications for what your presidency means. When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a Black quarterback. Now think about that. A Black 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 … Yo, Barry, you did it, my n—a!”

The room responded with lackluster applause and some actually booed Wilmore. His use of the N-word garnered a stern rebuke from the Rev. Al Sharpton who is quoted as stating “Many of us are against using the N-word, period. But to say that to the president of the United States in front of the top people in media was at best in poor taste. … I think he was trying to in his own way to act like he was relating. But relating to who? Or what? I really didn’t like it.”

Black Twitter was equally outraged and amused at Wilmore’s comments and the appropriateness of using the N-word on national TV in front of America’s first Black president. One commentator hit the nail on the head when he tweeted:

“With one sentence Larry Wilmore delivers the nightmare white folks have been trying to avoid for 8 years. HAHAAHA” -. Father Of Draggins ‎@rodimusprime

So far, Wilmore has been unapologetic about his use of the slur, as he said at the time, he was “keeping it 100.”


  1. Ceejay on May 2, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Over the top and definitely inappropriate!
    Sad part about it was, this was the last WHCD for this sitting president. And the thing that many will remember is the President being called the N word by a comedian of color. A low blow and tasteless!

  2. cupcake333 on May 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    that runaway slave dont even know that lincoln freed him yet . . im so appalled at his manners and respect for the leader of the free world barrack obama who the hell is barry? and if your not a friend you cant use that word to greet him … obama was a sport and took it instride but if he called bush a peeker of redneck in a joke he will be as done as earth kitt was when she said something smart to ellenor rosevelt i mean clearly . .. blacks are welcome in the white house like anyone but to get that privelge and come in there and say the world all blacks detest is foolish his career is over he may as well call macdonald for a french frie job . . and i hope the grease is fish hot and his uncle tom ass is fried .
    i really dont think who ever wrote his jokes like the obamas you can tell a white person wrote those dave chapelll could of done better ..and he curse too much .. .
    but he certainly would not have shamed the president like that whimore is very suspect .. you can tell he is out of touch with his race

  3. normankelley on May 2, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    What I find interesting is that American society acts as if the word was some recent invention. Read Twain’s Adventures of Hucklberry Finn and you’ll that is was America’s word of choice.

    • cupcake333 on May 2, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      look at to kill a mocking bird they say nigger a few times there and we call each other the name all the time … women use it to decribe her man sometimes . like MY NIGGA DENZEL WASHINGTON USED IT IN HIS MOVIE AMERICAN GANGSTER .. and comedians like dave chapel use it rappers say it in music and white kids are not suppose to grow up saying it ? hah it start with us either were gonna get comfortable with ever one using it or stop controlling it , until its inconvenice to do so .
      blacks act like we own and control that word .. .we know its the last thing black men heard before killed . . but that dont make it a deadly word like murder . or kill . . its just a word unless you use it in a bad way

      he dont need to be called to do comedy no more ever .. im sorry