Bill Maher ‘Very Sorry’ for Saying N-Word on ‘Real Time’

“The word was offensive,” Maher said in a statement

Real Time with Bill Maher HBO

Bill Maher has issued an apology for his use of the N-word on Friday night’s episode of his HBO series “Real Time.”

“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,” Maher said Saturday through a spokesperson.

“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,” he concluded.

Maher referred to himself as a “house n—-” on the weekly show, after his guest Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) invited him to “work in the fields” of his home state, Nebraska.

Maher immediately characterized the comment as a joke. His network disagreed, ripping the comment in a statement Saturday as “tasteless” and vowing to cut it from any subsequent airings of the episode.

“Here’s what I wish I’d been quick enough to say in the moment,” Sasse tweeted after the fact. “Hold up, why would you think it’s OK to use that word? The history of the N-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don’t use it,’” Sasse wrote.

Calls for “Real Time”‘s cancellation were instant on social media, and are still echoing through the internet. It’s unclear if cutting the joke is the extent of HBO’s response, but we’d bet tonight will be just as restful as Friday was for Maher.