Ice Cube schools Bill Maher over his use of the N-word on Friday's episode of HBO's 'Late Night'.

Ice Cube Roasts Bill Maher Over His Use Of The N-Word In ‘Real Time’ Interview

Ice Cube has put Bill Maher on blast on Friday night’s episode of the comedian host’s HBO show Real Time, taking him to task for his use of the N-word during an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse last week.

During last week’s exchange with Sasse, Maher responded to the politician’s invitation to come visit Nebraska (“We’d love to have you work in the fields with us,” he quipped), saying, “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house ni***r.”

The backlash against Bill Maher’s racial slur was quick and brutal, with many people, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and musician/activist Chance the Rapper, pressuring HBO to take the comedian off the air.

To his credit, Maher issued an apology for his racial slur gaffe.

“Friday nights are always my worst nights of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show. Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and I’m very sorry.”

That said, Ice Cube, who served as the de facto leader of hip-hop group N.W.A. during the 80’s, gave Bill Maher a piece of his mind over the host’s liberal use of the N-word.

“I knew you was gonna f**k up sooner or later,” Cube told Maher, drawing cheers from the audience. “I did. I did. I love your show, you’ve got a great show, but you’ve been buckin’ up against that line a little bit. You know, you’ve got a lot of black jokes. You know what I’m sayin’, you do.”

“Well, against racists. Yes,” said Maher, appearing flummoxed by Cube’s words.

Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker,” Cube responded.

“No, I don’t. That I gotta push back on,” replied Maher, appearing a little annoyed and defensive.

“It’s my opinion,” Ice Cube pressed on. “My thing is this, and you know, I’m cool with you. I like your show, to be honest. I just wanna know two questions. What made you think it was cool to say that? That’s one question.”

“You know, I just explained there was no thought put into it,” Maher explained. “Obviously I was telling Dr. Dyson, comedians, they react. And it was wrong. And I apologize. And you know, more than that I can’t do.”

Ice Cube said that he accepts the apology, but followed it up by schooling Bill Maher on why the N-word, at least when coming from the mouths of white people, is very problematic, giving a nuanced and clear explanation on why it is so.

“I accept your apology. But I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche,” Cube said. “Because I think there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they a little too familiar—or they think they too familiar—or its guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two who made them some Kool-Aid every now and then, and they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. It’s a word that has been used against us; it’s like a knife, man. And you can use it as a weapon, or you can use it as a tool. It’s been used as a weapon against us by white people, and we’re not gonna let that happen again by nobody, because it’s not cool. Now, I know you heard [it], it’s in the lexicon and everybody’s talkin’, but that’s our word now. That’s our word now. And you can’t have it back. I know they’re tryin’ to get it back.”

Before Ice Cube’s heated exchange with Bill Maher on Friday night’s episode of Real Time, Michael Eric Dyson, a sociology professor, told the host that there’s a racism “resurgence” in the United States. After the host admitted to the professor that he had done a bad thing dropping the N-word last week, Dyson encouraged him to continue acknowledging the “unconscious reflex of white privilege.”

[Featured Image by Stuart C. Wilson and Michael Kovac/Getty Images]

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