Last Friday, Real Time host Bill Maher once again found himself in hot water after casually dropping the N-word on his show. People were understandably outraged, and Maher issued an apology, saying “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.”
However, many were curious how the shock comedian would handle the backlash on his show, and Maher did end up addressing the controversy at the beginning of Friday’s episode of Real Time. He explained to guest Michael Eric Dyson,
“I did a bad thing. For black folks, that word, I don’t care who you are, it’s caused pain. It doesn’t matter that it was not said in malice, it caused pain and that’s why I apologized. I’m not that big of an asshole. We’re all evolving. Yes, it was wrong and I own up to that. It happened, and it was wrong. People make mistakes, we’re all sinners.”
Maher was also quick to couch that apology with an explanation that it was the comedian’s spirit in him that gave him the confidence to drop the slur, not his white privilege.
“I’m just a product of the country, but I don’t want to pretend that this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing. We are trained to get a laugh. This is not the first time I’ve gotten in trouble, because that’s what comedians are somehow wired to do. Sometimes we transgress a sensitivity point.”
Maher should probably just be happy he still has his job, as others have lost theirs over less this week.