On Friday’s edition of Real Time, host Bill Maher elected to drop a hard N during his chat with Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse. Y’know, for them classic white folk “post-racism” lulz. The backlash to Maher’s crack about being a “house n*gga” was pretty much instantaneous online and now the premium cable giant that airs the show has issued their response.
“Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless,” declared HBO in a statement released on Saturday morning. “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.”
Essentially, Home Box Office is taking the public rebuke but no further discipline route at this stage. Editing out Maher’s awful attempt to mine laughs with a slavery quip doesn’t really amount to anything beyond removing a “joke” that earned groans among the applause and laughter from the audience. If anything, this approach just pumps up Maher’s rep to his diehards that he’s a provocateur willing to tackle any subject. The problem is that Maher’s n-bomb isn’t just offensive, it was also used in a casual back-n-forth like people would hear that quip and howl with laughter about what a sassy bad boy Maher is. As backlash continues to swell, it appears the general public doesn’t find Maher’s n-word deployment to be cute or comedy.