Ebert Apologizes For Tweet With N-Word

CHICAGO (CBS) — Film critic Roger Ebert is apologizing for a controversial tweet that used the N-word.

In reference to the story about new editions of Mark Twain’s classic, Huckleberry Finn, replacing the N-word with the word “slave,” Ebert tweeted Wednesday, “I’d rather be called a n****r than a slave.”

A controversy quickly erupted online.

On the LiveJourrnal celebrity gossip community website “Oh No They Didn’t,” a user identified only as 1cupofrpattz took offense to Ebert’s tweet.

“It’s not that I agree with people updating Mark Twain’s work, which is supposed to reflect the reality people faced back then… but I just *really* hated that he felt the right to use the word, that he felt the right to choose with word is better (did he forget he’s white?)” 1cupofrpattz wrote.

Linking to 1cupofrpattz’s post in a later tweet, Ebert posted Thursday: “You know, this is very true. I’ll never be called a n****r *or* a slave, so I should have shut the **** up.”

Ebert eliminated with asterisks the presumed expletive modifying “shut up” in the more recent tweet. The N-word was not censored in either tweet.

On Tuesday, Publishers Weekly reported that Twain scholar Alan Gribben had partnered with NewSouth Books to release a version of Huckleberry Finn that replaces the N-word with “slave.” It also removes the word “Injun.”

The N-word appears in Huckleberry Finn 219 times.

Gribben told Publishers Weekly that removing the slurs was not an attempt to render the book colorblind, but is “a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”

  • Fed up

    Well peee my pants. The politically correct crowd must have had a heart attack. The fact that Ebert is married to a black cannot in any way disuade the PC group from attacking him. This PC moronic self indulgence must go. You have no right to control thought and no right to control speech. Maybe Ebert should be fired and denied a right to make a living and also take away his cancer treatment and appease the PC crowd. PC crowd-drop dead.

  • Chuck

    The use of the word was critical to the story. This is not an issue. The Black community has to stop this mindless bashing of the n-word. I mean really, the “N” word? What word goes through one’s mind when they hear that? Nincompoop?

  • Frank

    Karma is alive and well.

  • Centurion

    When all the rappers apologize…and stop using the NWord…I will stop…….until then…NIGGA PLEASE….SHUT UP…that means you KANYE!

  • Leroy

    Ebert should NOT have apologized! We all have the right to use this word! It’s freedom of speech CBS!

  • bpnirvana

    Ebert, what a woos for giving in! You’re a professional and used your professional judgement. Why compromise your ideas and yourself?

  • Rico

    If Dr. Laura can be run off the air for the same offense why shouldn’t Ebert? Ah but since he is a hard left winger expect this to blow over quickly.

    • Milwaukee Lee

      Yeah that’s right Rico! You got problem with that? Ebert’s a good guy and his wife is black, Dr. Laura is a wrinkled ugly over paid racist dirt bag, You following me fella?

      • Rico

        Yeah Lee sounds all that man juice you got pumped up your backdoor in the joint has backed into your walnut sized brain!

    • Charlie

      The context of the use of the word was much different between not a real Doctor Laura and Ebert. It has absolutely nothing to do with Left or Right wing. And I’d be curious to know what he has ever done to make him come across as either. He reviews movies. He’s never been a political pundit.

    • Charlie

      I stand corrected about Ebert’s being a pundit, although I’m not sure if he leans left or right on many issues. He is saddened by the misinformation of many Americans like the one who, upon reading of the constitution, yelled a comment about Obama not being born in America, the belief in death panels, and the insistent belief that the president is a Muslim, as if that should matter.
      I do disagree about the context between Dr. Laura’s and Roger Ebert’s intent. She was attempting to be inflamatory by repeating the damn word over and over. And yes, Dr. Laura is not a real doctor.

  • Doug

    A few years from now, this era will probably be referred to as the “apology decade”. The people who actually should apologize rarely do while class humans like Ebert bend over..

    I hope this story goes no farther than Ch-2. What a waste of space.

  • Milwaukee Lee

    Hey! Give Roger a break he had no bad intent in using the word, And he’s a great human being this comes from a black man to the north Milwaukee, Now go and give some real haters hell, Limbaugh, Beck, Palin and R Lee Emory !

  • Stash

    Isn’t Ebert a joo joo.bee? Shame on him.

  • Sarah,Russ and Glen

    Milwaukee Lee,Go back to playing with your yomama doll you racist s o bee.

  • John R

    Jesus the guy’s married to a black chick. What is wrong with people?

  • Living in 2011

    Fed up is an idiot for stating Ebert’s married to “a black”. Also, being married to an African American doesn’t give you a pass to use the word. Sorry. No one should use the word period; Black, White, Purple, or Blue.

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