Chris Rock sat down for an interview on “Inside the Actors’ Studio.” He obviously wasn’t expecting to be asked about the N-word. The host made it clear that it was not his favorite word but he understood why it was unacceptable for White people but was unclear as to why it is acceptable for Black people. Chris Rock explains that it’s about taking something that hurts you and changing it into something that doesn’t.
“It’s the same philosophy of soul food—they gave us the scraps and we made it into cuisine. And we took this word and we made it into poetry. Yeah, it’s horrible, but put some sauce on it and now it’s poetry.”
He went on to say, “In the wrong hands it can hurt, but if you give it to the right scientist a Dave Chappelle, an Ice Cube, an Eddie Murphy—what NWA and Richard Pryor did—it’s art. It’s Mark Twain.”