Cuba Gooding Jr. Defends Use of 'N-Word' in 'American Crime Story'

PHOTO: Cuba Gooding, Jr. attends the premiere of "American Crime Story - The People V. O.J. Simpson" on Jan. 27, 2016 in Westwood, Calif. Play Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
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Twitter erupted Tuesday night following one of the most powerful scenes in this season's "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," in which Nathan Lane's F. Lee Bailey uses the n-word six times while cross-examining Steven Pasquale’s Mark Fuhrman.

As the camera swings dramatically between the two, Lane's Bailey repeatedly asks Pasquale’s Fuhrman, an investigator in the Simpson case if he had used the n-word at any time during the previous decade. Furhman denies that he had. It was later revealed during the actual trial that he had used racial slurs a number of times. Fuhrman later pleaded no contest to perjury.

Reaction to the scene on social media ranged from praise to shock, but Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays Simpson in the new FX anthology, defended the show's uncensored use of the word.

"Absolutely I think it's important," Gooding, 48, told People magazine. "Our job as artists is to reflect the ills of society sometimes and to find a truth in that, and I think you can't start the healing process until you recognize the truth and all of its ugly warts and all."

Gooding also warned viewers that there are more shocking scenes ahead. Next week's episode covers the infamous "Fuhrman tapes," in which the detective was recorded repeatedly using racist language.

"That one's brutal," the star told People.