The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — better known on Twitter as #WHCD — took place on Saturday, April 30, and it wasn’t without controversy. President Barack Obama made news by concluding his remarks at the Washington Hilton in Washington by proclaiming, “Obama out!” However, it was the N-word uttered by Larry Wilmore, the host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, that left most folks buzzing on social media.
The N-word was uttered on live TV and can be seen in the below video.
Warning: The video of Wilmore’s N-word usage might be offensive to some viewers.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Wilmore’s N-word usage in regard to President Obama came during a portion of Larry’s speech when he conveyed how far race relations have come in Mr. Obama’s time.
“When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people could not accept a black quarterback. Now think about that, a black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team. And now, to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world. Yo Barry, you did it my n****.”
Larry pounded his chest after using the N-word in a manner that sought to convey closeness and pride. In the video of the N-word portion of the event, President Obama laughs in response and hugs the comedian. It could be noted — as it often is during N-word debates that erupt in the wake of high-profile incidents like these — that Wilmore used the version of the N-word that ends in “a” and not “er,” which some folks believe makes a difference. Whereas the “er” version of the N-word could be seen as offensive, the “a” version of the N-word is not always considered offensive, based on the context of its usage and a person’s viewpoint.
While some were outraged by Wilmore’s joke, others note that President Obama didn’t appear offended when he was spotted hugging Larry after the joke as seen in the below photos.
Other highlights from the #WHCD show President Obama joking about Donald Trump eating Trump steaks or tweeting insults. In the below clip, Omarosa can be seen sitting stone-faced as Mr. Obama jokes about Trump.
A portion of the nearly 400,000 tweets that were sent to Twitter under the #WHCD hashtag gave high praise to President Obama for his last speech as president at the dinner.
President Obama also leveled some jokes at Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the famous dinner. Mr. Obama praised Sanders’ “Feel the Bern” slogan that fired up younger people, but joked about trudging up the hill with “Aunt Hillary,” likening Clinton to a relative who just joined Facebook. Sending a Facebook poke to America and trying to figure out if things were showing up on the wall were the antics President Obama ascribed to Hillary’s campaign.
However, it was Wilmore and his N-word usage that received plenty of blowback on social media. Even audible gasps could be heard in the crowd during Larry’s speech, although it was followed by laughter from some.
When President Obama proclaimed #ObamaOut at the end of his speech, that also caused a flurry of tweets.
Others used the hashtag #NerdProm to describe their thoughts about the yearly dinner or to upload photos of themselves at the dinner for politicos, celebrities, and media personalities.
[Photo by AP Photo/Susan Walsh]