Bill Maher went radio silent after uttering, nearly shouting actually, a racial slur on his live HBO television show. He has now apologized for offensive comments made when interviewing Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.
During the live broadcast of Real Time With Bill Maher, the controversial comedian mocked an invitation by Senator Sasse to visit his state and said, “Work in the fields? Senator I am a house n****r.”
“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,” Bill Maher said in a prepared statement shared by his publicist, Cece York. “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.”
Bill Maher has still not spoken publicly about hurling the racial slur, nor has he responded to any of the intense backlash he has received on social media over his insulting language.
HBO also came out and condemned Bill Maher’s N-word slur.
“Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless. We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show,” a statement issued by cable network spokesman Quentin Schaffer, said.
— E! News (@enews) June 4, 2017
The house n****r comment has now been stripped from rebroadcasts of the Real Time with Bill Maher episode. By Saturday afternoon the live episode was no longer available on HBO’s online streaming platform, MSN reports. Clips from Maher’s interview with Senator Ben Sasse are not included on the Real Time show’s YouTube channel.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) June 4, 2017
Senator Ben Sasse tweeted about his exchange with Bill Maher after exiting a red-eye flight out of Los Angeles.
“I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines. But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough. Here’s what I wish I’d been quick enough to say in the moment: ‘Hold up, why would you think it’s OK to use that word?’ The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s, therefore, an attack on the American Creed. Don’t use it.'”
Maher’s decision to apologize, even remotely via a prepared statement, has some social media posters believing the Real Time host might have just realized comedians can go too far and have it cost them their career – as the President Donald Trump bloody severed head stunt appears to have done with Kathy Griffin.
A similarly offensive comment by Bill Maher cost the comedian his ABC late-night television series, Politically Incorrect. Maher disagreed with then President George W. Bush’s labeling of the 9/11 hijacker terrorists as “cowards.”
“We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away,” Bill Maher said on during the September 17, 2001, broadcast of Politically Incorrect. “That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, [it’s] not cowardly.”
Politically Incorrect premiered on Comedy Central in 1993 and was later moved to ABC. After Bill Maher’s show was cancelled, HBO offered the comedian a time slot in early 2003. Real Time With Bill Maher has been on the air for 15 seasons and has earned 19 Emmy nominations.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 4, 2017
William Maher Jr. was born in New York City in 1956 and grew up in River Vale, New Jersey, according to IMDb. His Irish Catholic father was both a news editor and a radio announcer. His Jewish mother was a nurse. Maher was raised Catholic.
Maher first began doing stand-up comedy while attending Cornell University. He eventually landed a regular comedy gig at Catch a Rising Star in New York City. A talent scout for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson spotted Bill Maher and began booking him as a regular guest on the show.
[Featured Image by Casey Curry/Invision/AP]