Will Smith Says He’s Been Called The N-Word To His Face Several Times

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Actor Will Smith admitted he’d been called the n-word to his face about five or six times during a recent podcast episode.

“I’ve been called n-word to my face probably five or six times,” Smith told “Pod Save America” co-host Jon Favreau on Monday. “And fortunately for my psyche, I’ve never been called n-word by a smart person.”

“I grew up with the impression that racists and racism were stupid,” Smith added. “I had never looked into the eyes of a racist and saw anything that I perceived as intellect.”

Smith noted there is a difference between ignorance and evil. “I noticed a difference between ignorance and evil,” Smith told Favreau. “Now they’re twins, for sure, but ignorance can be educated and evil is a much more difficult problem.”

Smith also gave his thoughts on how to ease racial tensions in the United States. “Education and understanding could alleviate some of the more dangerous and difficult aspects of racism that have unfortunately been embedded in the very fibers of our country,” he said.

The actor previously said racism was “rare” during a roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “My wife and I were just having this conversation, and we were going to the dictionary for ‘prejudice’ versus ‘racism,'” Smith said at the time. (RELATED: Will Smith Says Racism Is ‘Rare’)

“Everybody is prejudiced,” Smith added. “Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another — it makes them prefer blond hair over a brunette; if you see somebody with dark skin walking down the street, you have a different reaction than you have [with] someone who is 5-foot-1 and white.”

Smith also said racism is characterized by a sense of superiority. “But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior,” he continued. “And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior.”

In July 2020, Smith claimed he’d been called the n-word by cops.