Bill Maher, who has famously used Islamophobic rhetoric in the past, and whose HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher has been the subject of controversy before, took being offensive one step further during his June 2 show.
While in an interview with Ben Sasse, a Nebraskan Senator, Maher dropped the n-word in mid conversation, using the slur while discussing farming in Nebraska.
"Work in the fields?" Maher said, adopting a southern accent and gesticulating. "Senator, I'm a house n*****."
The audience responded with hoops , hollers and laughter, and Ben Sasse said nothing in response, rather he just pursed his lips and looked a bit uncomfortable.
Everyone else was not quite as amused by his use of a racial slur inside of a joke about slavery, and many took to Twitter to criticize him.
The day after the episode aired, HBO released a statement condemning Maher's behavior to multiple outlets.
"Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless," HBO told People Magazine. "We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.”
The clip, as well as the responses can be seen and read below.
Folks are already defending Bill Maher talking context and comedy at the expense of Black folks. All of y'all can two step into the abyss.— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) June 3, 2017
And why did the audience think it was okay to laugh? And Ben Sasse doesn't even flinch. What is happening in the world?— deray mckesson (@deray) June 3, 2017
Maher's white Californian liberal audience clapping for him saying he's a house nigger is why I know black folks are on our own in the USA.— Rod (@rodimusprime) June 3, 2017
I'm glad a black person wasn't there to say anything to Maher because he would just double down and get mad like he does when no one laughs— Rod (@rodimusprime) June 3, 2017
but I haven't fucked with Maher or Real Time for like 7 years or some shit now. I'd rather support black voices that are smart and funny.— Rod (@rodimusprime) June 3, 2017
Bill Maher is the zenith of a certain kind of half-baked condescending liberalism centered in normalizing white male lenses as "objective"— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) June 3, 2017