When The Carmichael Show finally comes back to television for Season 3, it will do something that few television shows in history have done before. The intelligent family comedy, written and created by up-and-coming comedian Jerrod Carmichael, isn’t airing new episodes until this summer but when those episodes do air they will contain an unedited utterance of the N-word. NBC is letting the show air the racial slur, and Carmichael says that it will be heard about six times all told.
According to reports from Variety, Carmichael told reporters that he was writing the word into the show and deciding to air it unedited because the “N-word’ is childish…say it! We know what we’re talking about. We’re not speaking to children.” Carmichael’s on-screen mother Loretta Devine noted that even though classic and beloved programs like All In The Family and Sanford and Son have aired racial slurs in the past, those were before the current era of ‘political correctness.’ While many times “PC” is an all encompassing term that derides over-sensitivity about insults and difficult subjects like this, in this particular case this politically correct time means that many people think twice before saying the N-word, unlike what some All In The Family characters may have done a few decades back.
Jerrod Carmichael has not shied away from tackling incredibly tricky or taboo subjects on his young NBC comedy, including the Bill Cosby fallout and the ongoing conversations surrounding Black Lives Matter. So it’s no surprise that the comedian is making this decision and embracing the opportunity to discuss the word’s resonance both in today’s environment and throughout history. If nothing else, this should bring the must-watch comedy some well deserved attention from audiences.