Bill Maher dropped the N-word on Friday night’s episode of Real Time on HBO.
Maher specifically used the term “house [N-word]” — a reference to the plantation era in the pre-Civil War south — during an interview with U.S. Senator Ben Sasse.
Social media on the left and the right is currently exploding in outrage over Maher’s offensive language. The social justice cohort is typically Maher’s core constituency on most issues, but he is receiving little or no backing from them after his use of the racial epithet, and in fact, many are calling for the comedian/pundit to be fired.
“Twitter, understandably, came after the comedian for using the N-word—a term of racial subjugation and oppression that is never OK for white people to use, in any context,” the Daily Beast noted.
Sasse, a #NeverTrump Republican, was on the show promoting a new book called The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance.
In their discussion, Sasse invited Maher to visit Nebraska and “work in the fields with us.” Maher, a liberal who is a strident President Trump foe, scoffed: “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house [N-word].”
See clip of the exchange below.
“Some audience members were heard to groan while others clapped. Neither Mr. Maher nor Mr. Sasse addressed the comments further, and the conversation moved to other subjects,” the New York Times reported. “Other commenters on social media posted tweets asking why Mr. Sasse did not immediately take issue with Mr. Maher’s remarks.”
Perhaps he was shocked, but Sen. Sasse’s reaction or non-reaction does seem odd in that he appears to be laughing along with the audience. Sasse’s office has yet to issue a comment, however, but they are likely going have to do some very quick damage control. Bill Maher’s Twitter feed is so far silent on his use of the racial slur. An HBO rep referred all questions to Maher’s publicist, who has not responded yet, according to the Times.
A few weeks ago, Bill Maher, 61, created controversy with an incest “joke” about President Trump and his daughter Ivanka, which most people felt was in very poor taste.
The Root website is taking a very dim view of Bill Maher’s use of the N-word Friday night.
“This is not the first time Maher has crossed the line or shown himself to be troll for ratings…Bill Maher is disgusting, and his time in the limelight is long past over. Real Time With Bill Maher needs to be canceled immediately….Bill Maher proved once again on Friday night that he doesn’t care about black people or blackness; we are all just props to him, and co-opting our women, our language and our oppression is just a ploy to make himself seem edgy and hip.”
According to Mediaite, however, Bill Maher was “absolutely joking,” but added that “given it’s historical significance, if you are a white dude, it’s a good idea to never say the n-word, in any circumstance, comedic or otherwise. “
On the same episode Friday night, Maher accused President Trump of treason for allegedly sharing classified information with Russia and predictably scolded him for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.
Given the blowback over his use of the N-word, it remains to be seen how this will affect Bill Maher’s career and the status of his HBO show moving forward. A lesser entertainer would probably be out of work immediately. Depending on the situation unfolds from here, things could get very real for the Real Time host, possibly leading to him being fired by HBO.
“This one will surely earn Maher widespread condemnation, although it remains to be seen if the famously unapologetic comedian will be the bigger man and apologize,” the Daily Beast added.
This is a developing story. Watch this space for updates on Bill Maher using the N-word on HBO Real Time.
- Sen Ben Sasse transmitted a series of tweets after his red-eye flight from Los Angeles landed about how, in hindsight, he should have responded to Bill Maher during their back and forth, but a more formal statement will likely be required and/or forthcoming.
- Bill Maher has issued an apology according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Friday nights are always my worst night 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 am very sorry.”
- HBO previously described Bill Maher’s use of the N-word as “inexcusable and tasteless” and that “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show,” THR added.
HBO reportedly did not edit out the racial slur from the midnight replay of Real Time with Bill Maher, however, Fox News indicated today.
[Featured Image by Casey Curry/Invision/AP Images]