A video from 2011 of four A-list comedians talking about the ethics of using the racial slur known as the n-word suddenly resurfaced and went viral on Saturday, with the names of several of the participants trending on the social network on the same day.
The 78-second clip features top comedians Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, and Ricky Gervais, and comes from a 2011 HBO special called Talking Funny. It was posted to Twitter on Saturday afternoon by a user with the name ABM Franco, and the video had been viewed more than 1.7 million times as of Saturday night, while other accounts also posted the video.
The clip begins with Rock referring to C.K. as "the blackest white guy I f'n know- and all the negative things you think about black people, this [f-word]..."
C.K. then interjects to say, "You're saying I'm a [n-word]?"
Rock responds "yes, you are the [n-word]est [f-word] white man, I have ever...", as both C.K. and Gervais collapse into uproarious laughter. Seinfeld, however, looks visibly uncomfortable with the discussion.
"I don't think he can do that," Seinfeld says. "I don't think he has those qualities." Rock then disputes Seinfeld's assertions, pointing out that he had long worked with C.K. (the latter comic wrote for the old Chris Rock Show in the 1990s, and the two also collaborated on the cult movie Pootie Tang.)
C.K. then points out that he and Rock use the n-word on stage, while Seinfeld and Gervais do not. Gervais then uses the word himself in pointing out that he doesn't say it in his comedy. C.K. then says that he and Gervais use the word "in private," leading to a loud laugh from Gervais. They all then agree that Seinfeld has probably never said the word in his life in any context. Seinfeld ends the clip by noting to C.K., that "you find the humor in it, while I don't- nor do I seek it."
See the clip below; a warning that it includes both curse words and racially inflammatory language, including the n-word.