Late night talk show host Bill Maher is the latest celebrity on the hot-seat after using the racial slur during a live telecast of his HBO show “Real Time” on Friday. The incident happened within a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse, after the congressman invited the 61-year-old to visit him in Nebraska. The outcry on Twitter was immediate and Maher issued a statement on Friday apologizing:
“Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I’m up reflecting on this I should or shouldn’t have said on my life show,” he said. “Last night was 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.”
Maher has a reputation for making bold and controversial statements about race, religion and politics. His ABC talk show “Politically Incorrect” was canceled in 2003 after he agreed with a guest who said the 9/11 terrorists were not cowards. And he recently came under fire for inviting Milo Yiannopoulous to his show, which critics said gave him a platform to promote his controversial views.
HBO spokesman Quentin Schaffer called the joke “completely inexcusable and tasteless. “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show,” he said.