Chevy Chase reportedly blurted out the dreaded “N-word” when he went on a tirade over passages in a script that weren’t to his liking during the filming of NBC’s “Community” Friday in Los Angeles.
Multiple reports on Saturday — including this one on the show biz Web site Deadline.com — say Chase, 69, erupted over some lines that were written for the WASP-y character he plays on the community-college sitcom.
The character, Pierce Hawthorne, is portrayed on the show as somewhat bigoted, intolerant and old-fashioned, and Chase was apparently given some lines containing racial or ethnic references that he reportedly felt went too far. According to the Deadline.com account, Chase became angered by the lines and, in the midst of a tirade “suggested that the way things with Pierce are going, he may next be asked to call” the two African-American characters on the show — Troy (Donald Glover) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) — the N-Word.
All of the stories about the outburst emphasize that Chase in no way directed the word at either of his black co-stars. And all the stories say Chase apologized immediately after saying the word — which did upset fellow cast members, Deadline reported.
It’s not the first time that Chase has made headlines for his behavior on the set of “Community.” Last season, the combustible comic clashed publicly with the now-former showrunner Dan Harmon.
Tensions may have been higher than normal on the set of “Community” last week because the show’s cast and crew had received bad news earlier in the week — that the show’s planned season premiere, scheduled for Friday (Oct. 19), the very day Chase had his outburst, was being postponed, probably until winter (although no specific date was announced).
Series star Joel McHale talked about the postponement when he appeared Wednesday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — an appearance that was scheduled originally for the express purpose of promoting the “Community” premiere. Despite the postponement, McHale appeared on “Kimmel” anyway.