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Author Walter Mosley quits Star Trek: Discovery after another writer's N-word complaint

  • The novelist and screenwriter, who is black, wrote a New York Times Op-Ed recounting his decision to quit as a writer on the CBS All Access series. Mosley, who is also a consulting producer on FX's Snowfall, writes that he received a call from Human Resources earlier this year telling him another writer had come forward to complain about his use of the N-word, and that he wouldn't be reprimanded. "He said, very nicely, that I could not use that word except in a script," Mosley wrote. "I could write it but I could not say it. Me. A man whose people in America have been, among other things, slandered by many words. But I could no longer use that particular word to describe the environs of my experience." Mosley added of deciding to quit: "Someone in the room, I have no idea who, called H.R. and said that my use of the word made them uncomfortable, and the H.R. representative called to inform me that such language was unacceptable to my employers. I couldn’t use that word in common parlance, even to express an experience I lived through. There I was, a black man in America who shares with millions of others the history of racism. And more often than not, treated as subhuman. If addressed at all that history had to be rendered in words my employers regarded as acceptable. There I was being chastised for criticizing the word that oppressed me and mine for centuries. As far as I know, the word is in the dictionary. As far as I know, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence assure me of both the freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness. How can I exercise these freedoms when my place of employment tells me that my job is on the line if I say a word that makes somebody, an unknown person, uncomfortable? There’s all kinds of language that makes me uncomfortable. Half the utterances of my president, for instance. Some people’s sexual habits and desires. But I have no right whatsoever to tell anyone what they should and should not cherish or express." Producers CBS TV Studios responded to the acclaimed writer and author in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter: "We are committed to supporting a workplace where employees feel free to express concerns and where they feel comfortable performing their best work."

    TOPICS: Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access, Walter Mosley