Black Internet Reacts to Comedian Gary Owen Admitting to Using the N-Word

Image for article titled Black Internet Reacts to Comedian Gary Owen Admitting to Using the N-Word

Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

It’s ridiculous that we have to keep saying this, but white people absolutely cannot say the N-word. It doesn’t matter how many Black friends and family you have. We don’t care if you’re just singing along with a song, or quoting your favorite movie. Even if you’re saying how awful you think the word is, there are no circumstances under which you are allowed to use that word.

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Comedian Gary Owen is the latest person to spark this conversation and force us to once again spell this out. While performing at a comedy club in Oklahoma City, an audience member asked him if he’d ever said the N-word. Owen explained that he’s never used it “with malicious intent” or “as a putdown,” he just likes rap music and says it while singing along.

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“You don’t think when I’m in the car by myself, I’m singing the f**k outta the song ‘Not Like Us,’” he said. “And I still look both ways before I say it…I’m bout to sing the fuck outta this song.”

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He posted a clip of the moment on X and Instagram, with most of the replies positive, but you know that’s not how social media works, so there were other users who definitely had thoughts.

One person pointed out that listening to rap isn’t an exception, replying on Instagram, “it’s 2025 beloved. No passes will be given. The music is FUBU. Written by and for people that can say that word.”

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While noting that they’re a “huge fan,” another person reminded the comedian, “You’re still a white man and the thought of it makes my skin crawl.”

It doesn’t matter if you like Gary Owen or not, it’s not acceptable for him to use the N-word. Once you start making exceptions, the people who do use it maliciously see that as a signal to be openly ignorant and hateful. Something we’ve seen more of lately.