This is… not usually something we hear on network television.
But hearing the n-word in Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us is what made the story so powerful — at least according to the fans!
In the show’s usual nature of exploring real world issues, The Most Disappointed Man touched on race and discrimination in the judicial system circa 1981. [These are spoilers!]
The Pearsons were expecting a breezy court proceeding to make the Big Three official, but were caught off guard when the judge (Delroy Lindo) didn’t think that two white parents should be raising a black child. He told the white couple:
“I don’t believe that child belongs in your home. That child belongs with a black family Mr. and Mrs. Pearson. How else will he see himself? Understand who he is?”
Judge Bradley evoked even more emotion by using the n-word without censorship. He later explained to Jack and Rebecca:
“I never understood what my blackness meant until a white man called me a n*****.”
The cast live tweeted the bombshell line, and even teased the audience with information alluding to the judge’s own prejudices. Moore and Brown shared on Twitter:
See all the family photos that line Judge Bradley├óΓé¼Γäós wall (families that he├óΓé¼Γäós finalized)? Notice how none are mixed race?├░┼╕┬ñΓÇ¥ #ThisIsUs
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) November 8, 2017
The Pearsons ended up successfully adopting Randall with the help of a different judge, but not before Rebecca penned a strongly-worded letter to Judge Bradley, signing it as “Randall’s mother.”
Still, the judge’s refusal to rule the adoption into law stuck with many fans — some of whom understood where he came from. See what viewers had to say about the thought-provoking episode (below).
“That child belongs with a black family.” REALLY!!! That child belongs with a family who will love him regardless of his skin color. #TakeASeatInTheCornerJudge #ThisIsUs
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Ms. Stacey L. Bracey (@thebraceygroup) November 8, 2017
honestly this is us is one of the first shows I’ve ever seen that doesn’t make social workers and judges into one dimensional villains #thisisus
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ ├░┼╕┼Æ┬╗├░┼╕┼Æ┬╗├░┼╕┼Æ┬╗ (@ssdepop) November 8, 2017
Sry, Judge Bradley. Big Three 4 lyfe!
[Image via NBC.]