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‘He was Comfortable Doing It’: Samuel L. Jackson Slams Joe Rogan’s Use of the N-Word and Explains Why Leo DiCaprio Got a Pass In ‘D’Jango Unchained’

Actor Samuel L. Jackson, a man known for saying an expletive or two, has weighed in on the Joe Rogan controversy. Recently, the white shock jock’s name was plastered across national headlines after clips of him saying the N-word were leaked on social media.

The compiled excerpts from various episodes of his podcast where he colorfully and boldly used the word since has gone viral. Rogan has apologized for his use of the racial epithet, noting that the word is unique because only certain people can use it. 

UNSPECIFIED – MARCH 27: In this screengrab, Samuel L. Jackson presents the Outstanding Motion Picture Award during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27, 2021. (Photo by NAACP via Getty Images)

He said, “There is not another word like it in the entire English language because it’s a word where only one group of people is allowed to use it — and they can use it in so many different ways. 

“If a White person uses it, it’s racist, it’s toxic. But a Black person can use it and it can be a punchline, it can be a term of endearment, it can be lyrics to a rap song, it can be a positive affirmation,” Rogan said. “It’s a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of it now.”

Jackson agreed it is not Rogan or anyone in his race’s word to use.

“There is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast,” the “Do The Right Thing” actor said in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment.

“He is saying nobody understood the context when he said it,” he continued. “But he shouldn’t have said it. It’s not the context, dude — it’s that he was comfortable doing it. Say that you’re sorry because you want to keep your money, but you were having fun and you say you did it because it was entertaining.”

In the past, Jackson has made exceptions to his rule. White men can use the term when they are working on a film, and it fits into the authentic narrative of the character.

“Django Unchained,” a film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, a white man, and produced by Reggie Hudlin, a Black man, required Jackson’s co-star Leonardo DiCaprio to say the racial slur over and over again.

DiCaprio, who played Calvin Candie, a plantation owner, was uncomfortable using the derogatory expression, despite the script calling for its use.

Jackson remembered, “While we were rehearsing ‘Django Unchained,’ Leo said, ‘I don’t know if I can say ‘n—-r’ this many times. Me and Quentin said that you have to.”

Jamie Foxx spoke about this in a 2020 interview with Republic World. He said that after DiCaprio confessed his reservations with reading his lines, he and Jackson had to explain to him that this is just a function of his job. Regardless of how much the Black ensemble told him that it was okay to say the word, DiCaprio never was comfortable, including with the narcissism and racist nature of his character.

DiCaprio couldn’t find a way to justify using the word and only did so because the movie stakeholders, especially Jackson, made him.


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