The Internet Erupts in Debate After Gwyneth Paltrow Tweets Out the N-Word

Illustration for article titled The Internet Erupts in Debate After Gwyneth Paltrow Tweets Out the N-Word

Usually the only controversies Gwyneth Paltrow deals with have to do with cookbooks and juice cleanses, but she stepped in a real mire this weekend when she tweeted the n-word. It happened on Friday night when Gwyneth was in Paris and joined her BFF Beyonce for Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne tour stop. While they were hanging out, The Dream (aka Terius Nash) snapped a photo of her dancing onstage and tweeted it out. She replied, "Ni**as in paris for real." It didn't take long, of course, before people on Twitter started to flip out. Gwyneth pushed back yesterday saying, "Hold up. It's the title of the song."


Yes, yes it is. But that hasn't stopped a serious debate erupting over whether it's okay for her to use the word. Some, like Rebecca Carroll at Ebony, argue that Gwyneth's whiteness means she "do[es] not get to use that word in any context, ever." But Nash himself can't seem to stop tweeting in defense of Gwyneth and in general annoyance that it's even an issue given the context. At one point he even tweeted that he was the one who said it:

Fyi Sorry for the Confu I typed Ni**as in paris for real from Gwens Phone my bad I was Fkd up please excuse it! We were lit!


Though he later issued the below (in a series of three tweets) which seems to contradict that:

Sure Attack her you know she's not going to do anything, you know in your heart she didn't mean it in anyway. The world is just full of Bull shitters who act like they give a shit haven't did one righteous act in there lives. Its a Hot Topic because people aint got shit To Do! Period. Say what u want. No one called Trayvon Nigga before he shot him it was an action. Racism is an Action!

Hmm, well, you can decide for yourself whether you think Gwyneth was in the wrong here, but one thing is for sure: the danger of tweeting under the influence has never been more clear.

Gwyneth Paltrow tweets back at N-word controversy [LA Times]

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Also, to you silly people who are like "but what do we call the song?! People won't understand if I just say 'in Paris!'".


"'Niggas in Paris' (edited for radio as "In Paris", "People in Paris", or simply "Paris", edited for album as "Ni**as in Paris") is a song by American rappers Kanye West Joe Liccards and Jay-Z, from their collaboration album Watch the Throne."

There you go. Stop asking us to educate you and do some of your own damn research. And don't claim people won't know what you're talking about. If you say "In Paris" and people don't know what you mean then be more specific and say you're talking about the Jay Z/Kanye West song. Is that extra step too much for you? Then don't talk about the song. Stop whining about how it's the artist's fault for naming it that. No, sorry, try again.

You have free will, you get to decide how you're going to reference the song. Don't play the "purist" card with me because I bet there's at least one thing that you censor because it makes you uncomfortable. If Nigga has gotten so mainstream that it no longer makes you uncomfortable, then that's sad, but at least own that truth. Stop trying to cover up the way you feel because you don't want to be called out. Own your truth and accept the consequences that will happen. If you really really really need to say "Niggas in Paris" then expect people to tell you they do not think it's okay and to call you out for it. Y'all should be smart enough to know that you do not need to say Nigga and therefore shouldn't, but I recognize some of you just feel this need to say it. In fact, I'm happy y'all are making yourselves known so I can know who not to talk to.

Those who point out that Black people use it just make me sad. So, the Black community can't have anything for themselves? Once they have something y'all just need to take it? It's disgusting, really. Sometimes in these kinds of threads I find myself unhearting so many people and being really disappointed. This time around I haven't had to do that, I guess the ignorant ones had made themselves known well before this point.

ETA: Another thing, I have never seen Huck Finn referenced so many times. Can y'all think of another literary work?! Damn, it's just repetitive now. If it didn't help the first 10 commenters' case, why do you think it's going to be effective now? Your Huck Finn references do NOTHING, so stop trying to use it to support your inane argument! As if there aren't any problems with Mark Twain. Y'all are fucking trippin'. How about you give me an author who isn't regularly called out for appropriating the Black vernacular when Black authors who were his contemporary wouldn't even be sniffed at?