Tyler the Creator: The Word 'Faggot' is Only Offensive if You Choose to Be Offended - VIDEO


Late last week, Arsenio Hall asked rapper Tyler the Creator about his use of the word "faggot", noting that the rapper has gay friends, like Frank Ocean.

Explains Tyler:

”That’s just a word, you can take the power out of that word. The way that I see things, it's you chose to be offended if you care more about stuff like that. And that might sound very ignorant, but if you're a black person and someone calls you the n-word and you get offended, maybe you might be. But if I know that I'm not a n-word...I'm not gonna get offended because I know that I'm not that. Frank [Ocean] is gay and I use that word all the time. He doesn't care because he knows me. He knows when I say that word I'm not thinking of someone's sexual orientation. It's just another word that has no meaning."


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  1. words only have the power you give them. that is the way it has always been.

    Posted by: Soulone | Nov 11, 2013 11:01:57 AM

  2. dummy

    Posted by: David in NYC | Nov 11, 2013 11:04:29 AM

  3. He has a point, but it doesn't negate the connotation of the words. Few people are going to hear the f- and n-words and just brush it off.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 11, 2013 11:06:11 AM

  4. Blissfully ignorant.

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 11, 2013 11:08:17 AM

  5. Rap culture is so ridiculous, they don't even know what they mean.

    Posted by: Jay | Nov 11, 2013 11:08:35 AM

  6. "It's just another word that has no meaning." Yeah, right. Because words aren't supposed to have meanings.

    Posted by: Douglas | Nov 11, 2013 11:11:19 AM

  7. Words always have meaning, that's what makes them words. If the word really doesn't have any meaning, then don't use the word, use gibberish. He's using that word specifically to put an idea or image into listeners' heads, and he's either being a lying bastard or just repeating some psuedo-intellectual BS that he's heard other people saying because it let's them get away with it.

    It's easy when you've got almost every advantage, lot's of money, fame, etc., to say "it doesn't mean anything". But it means something to the poor teenagers we read about every day that get bullied at school by their peers that listen to this homophobic garbage and then act on it. It means something to the teenagers that are thinking about killing themselves.

    Posted by: Eric | Nov 11, 2013 11:11:48 AM

  8. No class...

    Posted by: Turner | Nov 11, 2013 11:13:43 AM

  9. One major problem is that usually there is an implied threat of imminent or potential violent assault with the use of any of these "powerless" words that is more difficult or even imprudent to "brush off."

    Posted by: Alex | Nov 11, 2013 11:14:27 AM

  10. It's the same logic behind the "N" word. However, I suspect if I used the "N" word when greeting TTC and a group of his friends it wouldn't go over so well coming from a GWM.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Nov 11, 2013 11:14:59 AM

  11. Andy left an important part of the video out of the transcription. This exchange starts at 4:38. Tyler says that he wants to say the "n-word" but the producer won't let him. It actually speaks to his character that he would have said it if he were allowed to say it, but he's following the rules of where he's at. I don't think the Arsenio Hall show would allow someone to use the "f-word" either, so at least they're cognizant of the fact that it can be a hurtful/demeaning word.

    One thing I do have to say, though. Why does Towleroad censor someone from saying the "n-word" but not the "f-word"? If they're both bad, they should both be censored. The message that Towleroad is putting forth is that the "f-word" isn't as bad as the "n-word".

    Posted by: John in Houston | Nov 11, 2013 11:15:25 AM

  12. He's basically saying that if you're gay then be prepared to be called the F word, but don't be offended by it...

    I won't be, but I'm still going to break your teeth,

    Posted by: Turner | Nov 11, 2013 11:16:13 AM

  13. We should probably ask the people targeted and degraded by the use of a word whether it has meaning or not. Let's not ask the person unaffected by it's use who chooses to use it.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Nov 11, 2013 11:16:59 AM

  14. He has a 1/4 of a point but...

    Maybe you are friends/buddies with Frank Ocean to the extent where Ocean doesn't care if you use the word or how you use it.

    That doesn't mean that the usage of the word every gay person (and as far as I know,Ocean has never admitted that he is "gay") just as not every woman would be OK with it if you called women "bitches."

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Nov 11, 2013 11:17:01 AM

  15. @Douglas & @Eric. Exactly. If it has no meaning, why waste the oxygen to utter them? Why use them at all? Words are inherently full of meaning. Those particular words are used to infuriate and demoralize others to the point that you get a viral news blurb about you.

    Keep spinning the bs. No matter how much you spin it, it still stinks.

    Posted by: Lucca | Nov 11, 2013 11:17:17 AM

  16. What is his point in using the word if he claims it's a "word that has no meaning."

    here's a Gawker article about his from April: http://gawker.com/5993371/the-most-important-word-in-tyler-the-creators-vocabulary-is-exactly-what-you-think-it-is

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 11, 2013 11:18:29 AM

  17. Yes, there is something to what he's saying. But in the real world not much. Piss off and take your rap crap with you.

    Rap...what a laugh!

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 11, 2013 11:19:33 AM

  18. Actually, he is not stupid or ignorant. He's clever and devious and (like a lot of folks) pretentious.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 11, 2013 11:20:26 AM

  19. Let's see how offended he gets if a group of gay white men surround him and start shouting the n-word at him.

    Those who use this excuse "it's only offensive if you choose to be offended" as justification for using such slurs, are frequently not members of the class to whom those slurs are applied.

    Posted by: atomic | Nov 11, 2013 11:20:45 AM

  20. But it's not about *me* as a proud, openly-gay adult, Tyler. It's about that kid growing up in a gay-hating family, going to a school populated by anti-gay bullies, who hears the word and hears the hate behind it. Check yourself.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 11, 2013 11:22:34 AM

  21. What garbage. But what do you expect from someone from a culture who thinks that a criminal shooting a cop has to be judged by what he was thinking and not what he did.

    Posted by: Endoritos | Nov 11, 2013 11:24:18 AM

  22. Does this mean that the people who got fired for using the "n word" or "f word" get their jobs back?

    Using his logic there is no such thing as an offensive epithet. This really makes life easier. Of course, it may increase your medial bills if you run into people who take offense.

    Posted by: Voet | Nov 11, 2013 11:24:41 AM

  23. All words have meaning. Using words known as derogatory, demeaning and discriminatory hurt everyone as well as individuals. You can't claim such a word doesn't count because it has no meaning. All words have meaning. Arsenio Hall should not be putting on guests who claim such words have no meaning just so they can use and repeat them in a rap song.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 11, 2013 11:26:29 AM

  24. Can you choose to be offended? (You can choose to make a fuss about being offended, but that's different.)

    Choosing to be offended sounds a bit like choosing to experience same-sex attraction...

    Posted by: Paul Brownsey | Nov 11, 2013 11:26:32 AM

  25. @ "But what do you expect from someone from a culture who thinks that a criminal shooting a cop has to be judged by what he was thinking and not what he did."

    How do you know what culture he comes from , ENDORITOS? He seems kinda' middle class to me. He's just happens to be a Rapper. I'll google his biography.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 11, 2013 11:28:11 AM

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