First, O.J. Simpson defense attorney F. Lee Bailey (Nathan Lane) utters an uncensored N-word as he has drinks with his colleagues, including Johnny Cochran (Courtney Vance), laying out his plan for the next day.
In another uncensored scene near the end the episode, Lane's Bailey utters the N-word multiple times while cross examining Mark Fuhrman (Steven Pasquale), the police detective known for using racial epithets, repeatedly asking him if he's ever used the N-word – as the camera swoops dramatically.
On social media, the reaction to the startling scene was instant – with many people praising Lane's acting, and others simply expressing shock over what they had witnessed.
Im guessing Nathan Lane has a pass? #PeoplevsOJSimpson— Mr. Dinelli (@NickelCitySaint) March 9, 2016
i don't think i was mentally prepared for nathan lane to say the N-word repeatedly on my television, but life is a rich tapestry— jk (@jkrizel) March 9, 2016
#ThePeoplevOJSimpson Nathan Lane going to WERK!!!!— rodrigo santana (@rodrigo1993) March 9, 2016
These camera zooms and sweeps while Nathan Lane says the nword are OUT OF CONTROL. #AmericanCrimeStory— Sugilite Minnelli (@dupreewith2es) March 9, 2016
Didn't need to hear Timon use the n-word this many times. Nathan Lane has used it more times in that minute than I have in my entire life!— Prose Nylund (@Bleakey) March 9, 2016
#ThePeoplevOJSimpson Nathan Lane saying the N word noooo.— bluejean (@bluejean24) March 9, 2016
If you had told me 5 years ago that Nathan Lane would say N***** over and over on my tv.... #ThePeoplevOJSimpson— Matthew Burroughs (@MJBurroughs) March 9, 2016
Guess this is why this show is rated TV-MA L #PeoplevOJSimpson— Joel Raneri (@MrJoelRaneri) March 9, 2016
Aye that Nathan Lane scene was like that #SNL "12 years a slave skit"— (404)-WITNESS (@BougieAndGhetto) March 9, 2016
If you ever wanted to see Nathan Lane drop some hard N-bombs, tonight's episode was right up your alley. #ThePeoplevOJSimpson— Vallis Chan (@VallisChan) March 9, 2016
Knowing the Internet, someone is dubbing Nathan Lane's cross examination into a clip of "The Lion King" right now. #PeoplevsOJSimpson— Joseph Promisco (@jpromi2) March 9, 2016
A few others joked about how out of character it was for Lane's nice guy, musical theater image, with one woman tweeting, "Pretty bummed there was no singing in that emotionally charged scene between Nathan Lane and Steven Pasquale."
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on FX.