Dick Gregory Talks The N-Word, Impact Of 'Empire' vs. 'The Cosby Show'

03/23/2015 01:30 pm ET | Updated Mar 31, 2015

This article contains explicit language.

When it comes to the use of the N-word, Dick Gregory is no stranger to explaining his candid thoughts on the issue.

The legendary civil rights activist and comedian, who penned a 1964 autobiography titled Nigger, recently offered his thoughts in an interview on YouTube channel W.E. A.L.L. B.E. T.V. about Terrence Howard’s desire to use the N-word in the second season of “Empire.”

“It don’t bother me,” Gregory responded, before recounting an experience he had as a child that caused him to view the word differently: “When I was a little boy and you and your friends go to the movies, and a motherfucker walk up to me and say, ‘Come on, nigger, we’re in a hurry,’ I said, 'OK, man, let’s go.'"

“The motherfucker called me black. The fight was on ... Then he told me to kiss his black ass. Why?” Gregory continued. “Because when I looked in the mirror I knew I was black, which I didn’t like, but couldn’t see nigger. That’s why nigger never bothered us. I couldn’t see it … [A] motherfucker called me a billionaire; I can’t see it.”

The recent Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree also explained why the impact of Fox’s hit drama "Empire" -- which he hasn’t watched -- doesn’t compare to the cultural influence of “The Cosby Show.”

“'Cosby Show' wasn’t nothing but showing white folks how lovely niggas are,” he said. “They can go to bed happy when the show went off.”

Listen to Dick Gregory’s candid interview in the clip above.

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