Because he thinks “Empire” needs the street cred, Terrence Howard is pushing the producers to incorporate the N-word into the show.

When EUR’s Lee Bailey spoke to “Empire” creator Lee Daniels at a screening of the pilot last November, he said that word would not be in the show because all it does is bring a lot negativity and aggravation that’s just not needed. And far as we’re concerned, he’s absolutely right. The show is a ratings smash beyond anyone’s expectations and has street cred up the kazoo totally and without the N-word.

Agreeing with us and Lee Daniels is the breakout star of “Empire,” Taraji P. Henson, who plays the enigmatic “Cookie.”

We know this because a TMZ photog asked Henson straight up if she thinks “Empire” should use the inflammatory word to give the show street cred.

Obviously it’s a pretty touchy/hot button issue and one she thinks the series’ show runners might not want to push.

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(Photo: AP/Video Source: TMZ)