In the midst of Paula Deen’s N-word controversy, the use of the word was a hot button issue on Tuesday’s Access Hollywood Live, with singer Ciara weighing in.
When Access Hollywood Live co-host Billy Bush brought up the N-word debate, and noted that the word is used in Ciara’s new song, “I’m Out,” he asked her to chime in on the topic.
“What are your feelings about it… about the N-word,” Billy asked, noting that the word was in Ciara’s music, and also referencing an Oprah Winfrey/Jay-Z interview in 2011, where the rapper said his generation takes the power out of the word.
“As an entertainer you have fun and it’s all about the context it’s used in. I am an African-American woman, so I can identify with that word in different ways,” the “I’m Out” singer told Billy and co-host Kit Hoover.
“It’s all about the context and in my case I know I can have fun because I know where I’m coming from with it,” the 27-year-old continued. “You have to be light-hearted and it has to be in a certain way. I cannot hear another person of another race saying, ‘you this’ like ‘you that.’ Again, it’s all about how you say it and what context it’s used in.”
According to the Ciara, the use of the word in 2013 doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing it meant in the past.
“That word has as much power as you give it,” she continued.
Adding, “That word is so old that it references the context of where it comes from. I want to make sure I’m clear about that, it doesn’t mean that same thing that it could have meant years ago, especially when we can have fun about it.”
Later, during her interview segment on Access Hollywood Live, Ciara further clarified her comments.
“I’m all about empowering women, I’m all about empowering myself. As a human being, I would never use any word that would be degrading to myself… or to anyone else,” she told Billy and Kit.
Ciara’s self-titled album drops on July 9.