Sylvester Stallone Accused of Calling Paparazzi the N-Word

Did Rocky drop a racial slur?

On Friday afternoon, TMZ published this video of Sylvester Stallone supposedly directing the N-word toward a paparazzi in Beverly Hills.

TMZ reports that Stallone used the phrase “f**king ni**er” to refer to the photographer, and then a woman (possibly the photographer) asks, “Why the racial slurs?” But is that really what Sly said? Have a listen for yourself. It’s at about seven seconds in.

According to TMZ, a Stallone representative said that the actor denied using the word. The rep claimed that he called the photographer a “f**king ass**le” and not “f**king ni**er.” TMZ later posted an update stating that the Stallone rep said that the phrase used was actually “f**king idiot” and not “f**king ass**le” or “f**king ni**er.”

Stallone’s next film is Grudge Match, in which he plays–guess what?–an aging boxer opposite Robert De Niro, who plays the same. He’s also reported to be reviving his Rocky character in a spin-off called Creed about the grandson of Apollo Creed, his nemesis in the original Rocky movie. Creed is being made by the team behind Fruitvale Station, the racially charged 2013 movie that’s received huge amounts of critical acclaim. And he’s also set to debut the musical version of Rocky on Broadway in February.

What do you think? Did Stallone drop the N-bomb?