Bill Maher on Using the N-Word: 'I Did a Bad Thing'

Bill Maher on Using the N-Word: 'I Did a Bad Thing'

It's been a week since Bill Maher pulled widespread condemnation down on his head during a live taping of his HBO show Real Time, using a racial slur in the middle of a conversation with Republican senator Ben Sasse.

Bill Maher, whose use of the n-word sparked controversy last week, apologized on Friday's episode Real Time.

Maher opened the show by using his post-monologue interview segment to have Professor Michael Eric Dyson scold him. "I don't know what the f- you talking about'".

"Against racists", Maher said, defending himself and looking visibly uncomfortable. "I did a bad thing".

"As much as I hate [President Donald] Trump, that's wrong", Maher said in regards to Kathy Griffin's ill-fitting joke about Trump. "I did a bad thing", Maher said at the start of the interview with Dyson, adding that it was a word that has "caused pain" among African-Americans. I'm not here to do that. That's why I apologize freely and I reiterate it tonight.

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The veteran rapper, who appeared in studio as a guest, began by telling Maher, "Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker". When I hear my homies say it, it don't feel like venom. You got a great show, you know, but you be bucking up against that line a little bit, you know.

He said that Sasse's comment about working "in the fields" had struck him as a "weird thing".

Ice Cube said the slur is "like a knife". Al Franken, who was originally booked as a guest, canceled his appearance after Maher's "offensive" use of the word. "You can't have it back".

Symone Sanders, activist and former national press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), expanded upon Ice Cube's rhetoric, explaining how the context of Maher's joke on house slaves whitewashed the reality of many enslaved women who worked in the house: They were brutalized and raped by slave owners. But first of all, the word is omnipresent in the culture, so the fact that it was in my mind is, you know ...

Maher also called his word choice "just a mistake" and a "dumb interception". "Black people are literally fighting the systems of white supremacy and institutionalized racism every single day".

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"I accept your apology", Ice Cube responded.

"It's like a knife, man", he said.

"A word is a weapon or a tool, and that word has been used as a weapon". He noted that the word "has been used as a weapon by white people".

"I know white boys like that who earn a pass from the work they put in", the text from Dyson's son read.

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