During Tuesday night’s episode, Bailey asked Fuhrman (Steven Pasquale) on the stand if he’d used the slur in the past 10 years, repeating the word multiple times – just as he did in real life as stunned Americans watched the proceedings on TV.
Cuba Gooding Jr. tells PEOPLE he stands by the show not censoring the controversial term.
“Absolutely I think it’s important,” Gooding, 48, tells PEOPLE of viewers hearing the n-word. “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.”
The star adds that next week’s episode, which covers the infamous “Fuhrman tapes” was “the most upsetting” for him to film.
“That one’s brutal,” he says.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on FX.