If you were watching Episode 7 of This Is Us on Nov. 7, you were no doubt stunned to hear the N-word uttered. Needless to say, the moment caused quite a bit of controversy on social media.
The derogatory term was said on the NBC drama during a 1981 storyline featuring Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore‘s Jack and Rebecca Pearson. The duo is attempting to legally adopt their son Randall, but the judge presiding over their case, who happens to be African-American, doesn’t think he should be raised by two white parents.
The Pearsons on Halloween.
“I don’t believe that child belongs in your home. That child belongs with a black family, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson,” Judge Bradley, played by Delroy Lindo, says. “How else will he see himself? Understand who he is?… I never understood what my blackness meant until a white man called me a n—–.”
Fans on Twitter were surprised to hear the word on network television. “#ThisIsUs just dropped the N word and I’m all for it!” one user wrote, while another said, “Instead of being mad at NBC for allowing @NBCThisisUs to use the “N” word without censorship, can we just be glad that there’s a show, for the first time in a LONG time, that has been this REAL and allows us to have this kind of dialogue w/ one another? It’s important!”
The N word was just used on the NBC channel, without any censorship. Woah #ThisIsUs
— Wilmer (@W1lmerSarmiento) November 8, 2017
But some felt it crossed the line. “Omg. They did not just say the “n” word in #ThisIsUs Unbelievable how this is now a sickening display of propaganda from the left. Sick!!” one person commented.
Thankfully, an emotional note from Rebecca convinces the judge to hand their case over to a colleague, who allows the couple to move forward with adoption proceedings. “Randall is my son, whether you approve or not or sign a paper or not,” Rebecca writes. “The thing you need to know about us is the Pearsons keep at, we don’t stop. So I suggest you put us up on your wall [of family photos]. Maybe it will help you get used to our faces because we will keep coming until you do your job.” This show never fails to make us cry!