Bill Maher’s N-Word Draws Outrage: ‘I’m a House N—er’

“Real Time” host makes a joke with Republican Sen. Ben Sasse

Last Updated: June 9, 2017 @ 4:26 PM

Did Bill Maher just try to take the heat off of Kathy Griffin? His out-of-nowhere use of the N-word on Friday’s “Real Time” brought instant rebukes and calls for him to be fired.

The former “Politically Incorrect” host proved he’s still politically incorrect when Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse jokingly invited him to “work in the fields.”

“Senator, I’m a house n—-a,” Maher said, immediately adding: “It’s a joke.”

Many didn’t take it that way. “He said ‘n—er’ with a HARD ASS Rrrrrrrrrruh, so that makes this extra offensive,” said The Root writer Monique Judge, who added: “His show needs to be canceled.”

Griffin, who was forced to apologize this week after widespread outrage over images of her with a fake decapitated head of President Trump, has been a real-time guest before.

Maher was notably silent on her situation — but his egregious N-word helped her as nothing else could have. At least for a night, it drew national outrage toward him, instead of her.

Sasse was talking about his book “The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance” and his belief that today, “You can’t tell 10- and 15- and 20- and 25-year-olds apart.” Maher followed up with his belief that Halloween “used to be a kid thing” but now adults dress up, too.

“They don’t do that in Nebraska?” Maher asked.

“It’s frowned upon,” Sasse answered. “We don’t do that quite as much.”

Sasse has talked about manual labor as a way of building character and maturity. When Maher said he had to get to Nebraska more often, Sasse said he’d be welcome, adding with a grin, “We’d love to have you work in the fields with us.”

Maher threw his hands up and said, “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n—a.”

The audience groaned and then there was an uncomfortable spattering of laughter. Many on social media weren’t laughing.

HBO issued a comment, saying, “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.”

Maher said Saturday through a spokesperson, “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. 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.”