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Bel-Air actor was uncomfortable saying N-word in ‘icky’ scene

Bel-Air star Olly Sholotan has said that a scene where a group of white students use the N-word on the show left one actor very uncomfortable.

A dramatic retelling of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the series follows teenager Will (Jabari Banks) who moves from West Philadelphia to the high-class world of Bel-Air, California. Sholotan plays Carlton, Will’s cousin.

Speaking to Insider, Sholotan opened up about filming one widely discussed scene, in which Carlton and his white friends are singing along to “Shmoney Dance” by Bobby Shmurda, the lyrics of which include the N-word.

Will and Carlton then argue about Carlton allowing his friends to say the racial slur around him.

Sholotan said that filming the scene had felt a little “icky” and that Tyler Barnhardt, one of the white actors who uses the word, had found it difficult.

“We approach these really tough subjects with a lot of delicacy,” Sholotan said.

“But I remember the first few takes Tyler was actually nervous [and] uncomfortable saying that word. Rightfully so. He’s the nicest person on the planet. I don’t think that’s a word he’s ever said.”

The actor continued: “I’m not gonna speak for him, but I can imagine it feels icky. We all made sure we were on the same page and the scene that we were shooting is so important.”

Asked about how he felt seeing his white co-stars using the racial slur, Sholotan said that it should only be used in art “in service of something greater”.

Bel-Air is available to watch on Sky and NOW in the UK.

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