Bill Maher Apologizes for Using Slur on HBO’s ‘Real Time’: ‘I Did a Bad Thing’

Bill Maher
HBO/Janet Van Ham

Bill Maher on Friday again apologized for his use of the N-word on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” last week, engaging in an extended conversation about race with author and academic Michael Eric Dyson.

“I want you to school me. I did a bad thing,” Maher said at the start of the interview with Dyson, adding that it was a word that has “caused pain” among African-Americans.

It came minutes after Maher opened tonight’s edition of “Real Time,” which airs live, by thanking the audience “for letting a sinner in your midst,” a reference to his use of the N-word on last week’s show. Some audience members yelled, “We love you Bill” as he took the stage.

This was Maher’s first “Real Time” episode since using the racial slur during an interview last week with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). In the interview, the senator invited Maher to come to Nebraska and “work in the fields.” Maher replied, “Work in the fields? I’m a house n—–.”

HBO issued a statement condemning the remark, and Maher issued an apology the next day.HBO said the remark would be edited out of future airings of the episode.

In the conversation with Dyson, Maher noted that there was “a lot of bullshit apology in America. I am against that.” But he said that in this case, the apology for the use of the “N-word” was “appropriate.”

He said that Sasse’s comment about working “in the fields” had struck him as a “weird thing.”

“The comic mind goes to a weird place,” he said. “That is why I apologize freely and I reiterate it tonight. That is sincere.”

Dyson, an African-American, said that he took a lot of heat for agreeing to come on Maher’s show on the notion that it would seem to excuse his remark. But Dyson suggested that his use of the word was an “unconscious reflex” that comes out of a culture of white privilege, even among caucasians who don’t have any history of making racist remarks. “We have to grapple with how deeply rooted that is,” Dyson said.

Maher seemed to agree, but said that “it is not like I have made a career of this. It is not like I went out there last Friday and said, ‘Hey, we are going to break new ground tonight.’ “

Dyson did credit Maher for calling out racism in the past, noting that the comedian had said that “denying racism is the new racism.” He said that Maher was on the “front line” in pointing that out.

He said that “people don’t think Bill Maher is a racist,” but his point was that “if even Bill Maher can capitulate in a level of unconscious privilege, then the rest of us are in a serious spot.”

Maher responded, “I just don’t want to pretend this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing. Comedians are a special kind of monkey. We are a trained thing that just tried to get a laugh.”

He noted that comedian Kathy Griffin, who was under fire last week for posing in a photo with a fake severed head of Trump, “owes me a fruit basket for getting me off the front page.” But he pointed to her case and his as examples of where comedians went too far.

Still, Maher suggested that such mistakes shouldn’t mean the end of a person’s career. He argued with Griffin’s contention that her career was sidelined, telling her, “You made a mistake. You didn’t have to go away.”

Dyson did note, however, that “there are lines that you do not cross.” He recounted a scene from HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” created by and starring Larry David, in which “a black man comes up to [David] and says, ‘Hey, you my n—-r?’ He says, ‘Are you my caucasian?’ “

“What [David] understood was that is a line that he cannot cross and even his comedy cannot cross,” Dyson said.

Maher said that his use of the word “cost me a little bit of political capital.” He noted that he has a history of challenging the orthodoxy on the right and the left.

“Every quarterback throws and interception, I try to squeeze them in more than most,” Maher said, adding, “this was just a dumb interception.”

Related Content How Will Emmy Voters React to Bill Maher’s Racial Slur Gaffe?

In the wake of the furor over Maher’s remark, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) canceled his appearance on the show. In his place, “Real Time” booked Dyson. In the days after Maher made the remark, Dyson came to the host’s defense, tweeting that Maher “has bravely, and relentlessly, pilloried racism, white privilege, and white indifference to the black plight.”

Dyson further credited Maher for having “used his platform to highlight black faces, and amplify black voices, that might otherwise have never been given such a prominent perch to tell their truths.”

Other guests on Friday’s show included rapper and actor Ice Cube, with the roundtable consisting of David Gregory, former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), and activist Symone Sanders.

After he sat down at Maher’s desk, Ice Cube quipped to him, “I knew you were going to f— up sooner or later.”

He then got serious and asked Maher, “What made you think it was cool to say that?”

“There was no thought put into it. Obviously I told Dr. Dyson, comedians they react. It was wrong and I apologized. More than that, I can’t do,” Maher said.

“I accept your apology,” Ice Cube responded. “I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche.” He noted that the word “has been used as a weapon by white people. We are not going to let that happen again.”

Jolly said to Maher, “The GOP handbook says, ‘Don’t agree with Bill Maher. But I want to say something to you. You apologized. At some point, America has to accept apologies. And more importantly, let’s focus on the people who speak irreverent words and refuse to apologize, because that is where the hatred in the heart is.”

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  1. Philip Denst says:

    The slur was first aimed at Bill Maher, that he could only visit that state as a field hand like the old plantation slaves. Bill was pointing that out with his remark. It was clear what he ment. Bill Maher has made many remarks that shows he is trying to help the black community.

  2. hijackthemic says:

    The man who said stop apologizing and looking like a wussy is apologizing and looking like a wussy. He should have said he shouldn’t have used it in his broadcast and moved on. Instead he needs an apology show where he gets lectured by uneducated rappers. Oh, Bill.

  3. Brian seabury says:

    I don’t think bill maher’s comment had anything to do with white privilege. yes it was racist. its similar to when people joke about hitler in an attempt at very dark humor. the worst connotation of the joke I guess is that some jobs slaves had were much easier than others which I know nothing about. It was a long time ago. we haven’t reached the point where jokes about dark points in our history can be so casually thrown around.

    • The problem with the so-called “N-Word” is that it has survived the United States’ dark history as a contemporary expression, especially on the part of black people talking to/speaking with other blacks. (See: “MOONLIGHT”) wherein contemporary movies, videos, rap music and the like reflect the use of the expletive casually and often.

      The power in the word is its lack of use (with all due respect to the latter-day and late Richard Pryor) which many black stand-up comedians seem to have no lack of compunction in using.

      In other words, if Bill Maher was a black comedian, there would not have been this “noise” about racism.

      • John Thomas says:

        So posters like you continue to fail to understand the difference between use of the N-word by whites and by Blacks. – This is largely what’s at the root of the problem.

        It’s like not understanding the difference between a knife in the hands of boy-scout vs a knife in the hands of a serial killer.

  4. Grandpa Joe says:

    You think this Bill Maher guy is bad? I stole Fizzy Lifting Drinks!

  5. C. Sullivan says:

    This nonsense of “we can use the n word, but you can’t” is RIDICULOUS!! If it’s so offensive to you, I better not hear it come out of your mouth either. It’s A WORD! Their are slurs for every nationality and race. You don’t OWN words. And Bill Maher already apologized for this JOKE. He needn’t have to apologize to every African American person he encounters. Accept the apology or not. Incidentally, my ancestors were slaves as well. I wasn’t a slave, OUR (theirs and mine) ancestors weren’t given a whole lot of choices, but if you’re so unhappy with your lot in this country, either work to change it or go back to your ancestral country. Nobody OWES you a thing! Not even an apology. He did apologize which was the nice/politically correct thing to do, but wasn’t a necessity.

    • John Thomas says:

      Your ancestors were slaves? – Are you Black? – If not, please explain.

      If you are Black, do you think your rare (believable?) position cancels out the vast majority of Blacks who feel differently?

      • John Thomas says:

        John —- I was asking C. Sullivan. I’m not sure why you think you can answer for him. – No. recent history is far more relevant than ancient history, of course. – In ancient history, we were cave men or lived in trees.

        But U.S. empires and development built on the backs of slaves just 150 years ago (recent, historically) are largely still intact today. — So the current white economy is directly tied to the massive suffering and exploitation we caused with slavery for hundreds of years.

      • John says:

        Slavery isn’t a black thing. Slavery has been going on since forever so yes slavery is in all of our ancestry and is meaningless now

  6. Mook says:

    So if I called Maher something offensive like “cheap, big-nosed Jew boy” can I simply just say afterwards, “I did a bad thing?”

    • C. Sullivan says:

      No. No apology necessary for that. It’s your opinion, have at it.

    • Spirt7 says:

      If someone takes offense when a comedian tells a joke then they shouldn’t listen to them. Comedians have always crossed lines. Black comedians are the worse, Chris rock, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy to name a few. I do believe this nonsense with the black community taking offense every time they feel like it will run it course. The media Is to blame for 99% of this. They have taking it to a place where our freedom of speech turns us into so called racist.

  7. newsdee says:

    I am a black female (senior citizen) and I found nothing wrong with Maher’s joke. There wasn’t an intent to harm and it was directed at himself. . I hope that he will stop apologizing. Enough is enough….move on!! However, I must say that Ice Tea cannot chastise anyone for using the “N” word. His rap group included the word in it’s name….give me a break!!

    • C. Sullivan says:

      AMEN and thank you! Or having songs like F the Police or mentioning killing them?? He has no room to say anything.

    • Yosha Jenkins says:

      As another black female, you certainly DO NOT speak for me. Maher is an a-hole and should have been banned. He’s an elitist that feels so entitled that he spew hate without anything happening, which is exactly what happened…nothing. It was offensive and stupid.

    • John Thomas says:

      You, unfortunately, show that people don’t automatically get enlightenment by being born Black.

  8. Jimmy Lemley says:

    hey billy i thought u said there aint no God, if there aint no God there aint no sinners ahole

  9. Fab Mundo says:

    Maher is a liberal was home and bigot….a first class racist hidden in the closet of democrat politics….because liberals agree with their attack dog, he’s gonna be forgiven, by liberals, but be warned Maher, we know who you are and what you are….a Democrat version of the KKK. U can fool your black liberal tools and fools, who turn a blind eye to your racism, but you don’t fool the rest of us…sociopathic human stain.

  10. Fred Mertz Jr. says:

    People should be very careful to understand that half of the negative comments toward Bill Maher on this page are from Republican trolls who never said a word about the horrific things that were said at Republican rallies about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Far, far worse than “lock her up.” Don’t be played into helping to drive one of the most strident anti-Trump voices off the air. I have black friends who know they are being gamed by the Republicans and by the “I OBJECT” crowd (who use any opportunity to be offended to seize media air time). There are bigots in this world and there are bigoted people. The latter can be re-educated and Bill has learned his lesson on that one. Now, if we can smooth off his anti-Muslim position, that will be another plus. All I am saying is, Democrats and Progressives, sometimes, it’s necessary to form alliances; they are the only way to fight evil which WILL form alliances against us. FDR and Churchill knew that, when they plugged their noses and allied with the Soviets against a far greater enemy, the Nazis. That didn’t excuse the Soviets and Churchill and FDR knew they could never really be turned toward the light but they were fighting for their lives. Well, we are doing the same now, except against former Soviets and, again, fascists, not in Europe across a wide sea but in our midst. We may not like him, but we need guys like Bill Maher. He may be an asshole, but remember, he’s OUR asshole.

    • John Thomas says:

      Sorry, but you’ve got political blinders on. You say:

      >>>”Don’t be played into helping to drive one of the most strident anti-Trump voices off the air.”

      We are definitely being played by the corrupt corporate Democrats. – THEY are responsible for Trump. – First, by making the cynical and WRONG move to elevate Trump as a candidate. They thought this would be a good idea because “it will be so easy to beat that ignorant clown.” – Then, they tried to make the whole election about “We aren’t Trump!”

      We all know how miserably that failed. It’s not enough to be against something. You also have to be FOR something. The people saw the corporate Democrats are for nothing but serving their corporate donors – the same as the Republicans. – In fact, rising progressive commentator, Jimmy Dore made the solid point that corporate Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than a progressive. That’s because if they lose to a progressive, they will lose their jobs and their river of gold from the corporate donations.

      Besides being morally wrong, the corporate Democrats are simply crushed (as they should be) and are now unable to win another important election. – Maher may have started out as a progressive, but decades of extreme wealth have turned him into a corporate Democrat that constantly rages against progressives because they won’t get behind the corrupt, corporate Democrat agenda.

      As Noam Chomsky says, the biggest news of this last election was the success of the Bernie Sanders campaign. – After many decades of corporate rule, a people’s candidate finally broke through the rigged system. – Chomsky says, as many others do, that if the corporate Democrats and the corrupt DNC had not stolen the Democratic primary from Sanders – and the people – he would have won the presidential election. – This is clearly true.

      The good news is Bernie Sanders is still here – as is his vast support. – The people have wised up and will not support another Republican in Democrat clothing. – Bill Maher didn’t get the memo. He cluelessly thinks he can continue to fool progressives into voting against their own interests.

      That’s not going to happen. – The corporate Democrats need to honestly reflect on who they support – the people or the one-percent. If it’s the one-percent, they just need to be honest and become Republicans. If it’s the people, the only path is progressive.

      As Dylan said, “You’ve got to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’ve got to serve somebody!”

      • John Thomas says:

        newsdee — You seem to be talking about Republicans, but that’s not who I’m talking about. – The corrupt corporate Democrats, like the Clintons and Obama, are the problem under focus.

      • newsdee says:

        You are absolutely correct. These folk saw nothing wrong with Ted Nugent threatening Obama’s life, but they have a problem with Maher.

  11. Ice “Niggas with Attitude” Cube said it was “our” word now…..what is the definition of “our”? Can 50% Obama say it? Do you have to show your DNA test to prove that you are a certain percentage? What is this % and who decides where the cutoff is for privilege/punishment of the use of “our” word? I’ve seen ancestry/DNA shows where people were shocked by their ancestry and have seen none where the result was 100% of any group. Mankind originated in Africa.

    • John Thomas says:

      So with that question, what you really mean is “what is the definition of Black?” – This is a classic “can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees” proposition. – If you look too closely, at too fine details, the difference between white and black disappears – because, obviously, there is no significant difference – other than the irrelevant variation of skin tone.

      But, of course, in our insane times, we have made a HUGE difference out of an insignificant one. So the answer simply becomes – what color are you perceived as? – This creates some confusion at times, because with some people, their “color” is not easily categorized, and they choose to present as one side or the other. – But in most cases, it’s clear.

      We were well on our way to solving this insanity in the sixties with the great swelling and successes of the Civil Rights movement. – But we were set back again by Richard Nixon. The paranoid, criminal president (sound familiar?) decided that two groups were his sworn enemies – the anti-war movement and Blacks. – This cruel position not only was devastating for the people in Nixon’s administration, but has continued to set the tone for politics, and the fight for justice, to this day.

      Bill Maher may have started out as a progressive, but, as is so often the case, decades of extreme wealth have turned him into just another corrupt corporate Democrat. – He proves it often by taking every opportunity to scream at progressives for not becoming corporate Democrats like him.

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      “It’s our word now.” Tell him what he’s won, Bob. Anybody who runs around calling himself and others by the n-word, except ironically, is what he so badly wants to be – at least in the minds of everyone watching this trainwreck happen.


    Sorry is as sorry does and suffer the consequences of the infraction regardless of its magnitude. Although there are apologises made there just has to be discipline or punishment of some kind regardless of what or how you symmetrically label the offence. This arrogant and egotistical attitude of those who feel that they are above The Law just has to cease regardless of your status, station, and/or place you are in society or the socio-economic scale.

  13. Dan Farris says:

    Maher screwed up but I’ve never seen a more perfect setup that begged for the exact punchline that he delivered. Sasse talking about working the fields?!? Farmers use half million dollar combines now.
    He might have got away with, “Senator, I work up to da big house. I don do no fields!” But he may have been dinged for making light of anything about slavery at all. It all takes the spontaneity out of comedy, of course.

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      No. Sasse’s antisemitic dog whistle tossed out an easy setup for Maher’s provocative punchline but one of the tests of a joke is whether it garners a laugh. What’s the point of saying something that gets you blasted as a racist, gets you condemned by your own network, gets your political influence shredded and leaves you wishing you had called in sick? Maher should have called Sasse on his “working in the fields statement,” but as a Jew who’d just been dog whistled to his face, not as a lazy liberal who’s assumed his Baby Boomer politics will get him back-up when he trots out the n-word.

  14. dandy mott says:

    I think we have bigger fish to fry than Maher’s comments about race. Maher has been an upstanding supporter of rights for all. I agree with Ice Tube – Maher got a little to comfortable and he needs to know that the N word is now owned by the blacks and whites should never use the word. But stop all the hate on Maher – he’s one of the good guys.

  15. Avenger07 says:

    Podcast you say? mock it all you want, but there are people who actually prefer that medium than say tv or traditional radio, Joe Rogan’s podcast is extremely popular and he trashes PC culture like what’s going down right now at evergreen college.

    • John Thomas says:

      Right. There is no progressive voice on mainstream media. – Since mainstream media is fully owned (by just SIX corporations) by the one-percent, this is not surprising. Two sad examples are Phil Donahue and Keith Olbermann. – They tried to be a voice for progressives – for the people – and were promptly fired for it.

      The Internet, and most specifically, YouTube, are the only venues we have to communicate with each other and the people. – Watch out! – Because the one-percent is working furiously to take this last stage away from us!

  16. Avenger07 says:

    White guilt syndrome is incredible, and the hypocrisy coming from these people is just cringe worthy, they don’t call out the use of the word in rap music, they don’t call out the really offensive mysogonist lyrics in rap music, yesterday’s show was unwatchable, PC culture is now going to destroy comedy, and Islamist terrorism apologists are also now going to take advantage of white guilt so that people like Maher don’t call out Islam extremism for what it is, as a liberal I get it now, finally why Trump won.

    • John Thomas says:

      What you don’t get is it’s not about “PC culture.” – It’s about ONE, monstrously inflammatory, historically evil word created by white people to make Blacks less than human and treat them like animals.

      Why would you, or anyone, defend white people’s use of this one, horrific word? – How could it diminish any white person’s world not to be able to say it? — There’s no excuse for it.

      • hijackthemic says:

        Because you’re dumb enough to think there’s a magic word. You thinks feels mean more than reason. You can sit around and spew your opinion all day, but no one cares what you think. What you think doesn’t matter if it’s backed up by nothing but you whining.

  17. Spirt7 says:

    This is the reason I voted Trump. Bill had ever right to make that joke. He and every other comedian make jokes like that daily on stage. The difference is when the joke is about whites, Mexicans, etc. nothing is said. Ice used the phrase redneck trucker. Rednecks are usually referred to as poor white trash, as far as trucker, I’m not sure what that was about, except they’re usually white. Get over it black people, I feel for your ancestors but not you. You have more freedom of speech than any of us.

    • John Thomas says:

      Wow. – Thanks for showing us how live and virulent racism still is. — You do know that “whites, Mexicans, etc.” were never treated as slaves in this country, right? – To imagine we have totally emerged from that monstrous circumstance is the height of ignorance and bigotry.

      • John Thomas says:

        Spirt7 – You think because U.S. slavery ended just 150 years ago (short in historical terms) is hasn’t continued to resinate to today? What about the period of legal discrimination that only partially ended with the civil rights movement of the sixties and seventies? – Those who can see know the chains are still there. – How does some white people who fought to end slavery change the facts of the existence of slavery? – You’re confused.

      • Spirt7 says:

        I wasn’t aware any blacks living today were ever enslaved. What about the 100,000’s of white union soldiers that gave their lives to free people they never owned. Your the racist.

  18. JuJU says:

    What an a-hole.

  19. Bill, says things that cross the line from time to time, No doubt, but you know it going in. I wouldn’t want to see him muzzled by butt-hurt PC liberals. But, I am glad he apologized. And in breaking the trend of trying to equivocate everything. I hope he continues to say things that make us think and react But, Bill that also means thinking before you speak, pal. I think you are a believer in equality But this is a topic that you and I have no business in. And no matter how innocent the intent it will inevitably be misconstrued.Keep firing us up!

    • John Thomas says:

      That you imagine this is about “butt-hurt PC liberals” instead of just ONE hugely inflammatory, historically evil word – and what it says about the white people that use it – shows you have no grasp on the issue.

    • Frank says:

      Take him off the air.
      He can do a pod cast if he’s so great.
      He belongs in a field, the field of retirement. Hahahaha
      he can have a show at the senior center.

  20. Bill Kilpatrick says:

    I thought the whole thing was unwatchably bad. Maher’s initial reply to Sasse – and his dog whistle about “working in the fields” (a not-so-subtle dog whistle playing off of antisemitic stereotypes) – was a dud, even to his front-loaded studio audience. It was painfully casual. How could Maher not know he tossing a lit match into dry tinder?

    His apology was worse. If you’re going to apologize, do that. If you’re going to defend yourself, do that. Don’t do both. Nobody wanted to hear about how this was the only time, or how much Maher does for the black community, or some deflection about Trump, the GOP, Kathy Griffin or Fox News.

    But the lectures were equally bad. “It’s our word now”? Any word whose very mention conjures up centuries of abuse should be retired. It should be buried like toxic waste, not assigned to the group so deeply offended by it. Anne Frank jokes are disgusting, regardless of who’s telling them. Nobody says the victims of child sexual abuse should be given a pass to exchange kiddie porn.

    Where was all this indignation when HBO started showing Tarentino flicks or in all those George Carlin comedy specials? Why was the lecture and apology – about a crass ad lib – just as crass? Inconsistent indignation reeks of posturing and politics. One wonders if anybody isn’t speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

    • John Thomas says:

      You show you missed the point when you try to expand this from a debate about just one hugely inflammatory, historically evil word to “Tarentino flicks” and “George Carlin.” — Context is everything. – Movies are an art form with different rules. – Maher’s show is many things, but its not art. – You’ll have to explain what you mean by George Carlin. – I don’t ever remember him using the N-word. – The fact that he didn’t should tell you what you need to know.

      I agree that Blacks shouldn’t use the N-word either, but it’s not our position to tell them that. – It’s clear they were trying to do what homosexuals did with the word, “gay” – appropriating it and defanging it. They should be lauded for the effort. – But, unfortunately, the evil of the word is too powerful and they failed.

      Maybe in another hundred years it will be different. – But this is the world we live in now.

      • John Thomas says:

        Talking about a word is different from using it. – The first is an exercise, humorous or other, in semantics or linguistics. – The second is putting the force of that word into effect.

      • John Thomas says:

        Okay. – George Carlin talked about the N-word, but he didn’t use it. – He basically said it all depends on the context, and then explained the context is whether it is used by a Black person or a white. – That agrees with the consensus here.

  21. Coco Lopez says:

    OWhat the hell year is this? Grow up everyone.
    Take responsibility for yourself and your own future.
    Finish school. Get a job. Get married. Have children.
    In that order.
    Then complain about how much some word some a-hole says has negatively impacted your life. Stupid stupid games.

    • Jimmy Lemley says:

      agree coco well said

    • John Thomas says:

      You live life on an incredibly superficial level, filled with ignorant assumptions. — The problem is NOT people who haven’t finished school, gotten a job (that you think is worthwhile or makes your standard of sufficient pay), or haven’t gotten married or had children.

      The problem is monstrous class war in America that the rich do their hardest in fooling the poor and middle-class does not exist. — I wouldn’t mind so much if the rich just used their piles of money to buy more houses and toys. – It’s when they use that money to buy politicians to steal the voice – and the country – from everyone else. — Read some Noam Chomsky or Chris Hedges.

  22. John Thomas says:

    An apology doesn’t fix everything, but it’s a start.

    While Maher may actually be doing some personal reflection, he needs to deeply rethink his war on progressives. – Progressives are simply advocates for the poor and middle class, the end of war and the protection of the planet.

    Because Maher has been extremely wealthy for decades, he has now clearly joined the one-percent in their callous contempt for the working class. – He’s all in for his other wealthy friends that comprise the corrupt, corporate Democrats – like the Clintons and Obama – who work only for the benefit of their corporate donors.

    Maher even gets ANGRY about progressives, ranting against us at every opportunity and recently filling the camera with his furious face and telling us “F You!.”

    This is actually part of the same problem as the N-word slip. – To the one-percent like Maher and his friends, the poor, middle-class, and minorities are something less than human. – So HOW DARE WE think can have an equal voice in our government!

    This is a serious problem that usually doesn’t get fixed. – That’s what leads to revolutions.

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      John Thomas, people like you are the reason Trump is president. How does a guy who can’t garner more than 40% of the popular vote win in states where Democrats outnumber Republicans – let alone win the White House? Maybe it’s this generational war between Millennials and Boomers.

      You wanted Bernie Sanders to win. I get it. But he didn’t win the Democratic nomination. And why? Because Sanders couldn’t win the middle. So what did Millennials do when their favorite candidate failed to win the nomination? They sat out the election. In their zeal to push Bernie through, they convinced themselves that Boomer liberals like Hillary – and Bill Maher – were just Republicans in disguise. Your generation lacked the political maturity of blue-collar Democrats going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson.

      Enjoy your purity. Enjoy it for as long as it takes to get Trump imeached, though Pence is just as bad. Enjoy four years of walking around with your fist in the air because you held onto your sanctimonious principles. You might as well have just written in your favorite cartoon character – for all the good your vote and your education have served you. Google the electoral college, pal.

      • John Thomas says:

        Spoken like a true, corrupt, corporate Democrat. – You say:

        >>>”people like you are the reason Trump is president.”

        Thus, the current big ploy of corporate Democrats – trying to shift the blame for their loss from themselves to progressives. – That’s so pathetic.

        >>>”[Bernie Sanders] didn’t win the Democratic nomination.”

        Whoops. Stop right there, pardner. — Senator Bernie Sanders DID win the hearts and minds of the people – as the polls showed then – and now. – The biggest crime of the century was the THEFT of the Democratic primary from Sanders, and the people. We are reeling from the horrific consequences of that great crime and the evil effects will ripple down through the generations. – The proof of this is indisputable, clearly exposed by the firing of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz for her principal role in the great mugging.

        Noam Chomsky is generally considered the world’s greatest intellectual and voice of the people. He observes the truth of this robbery and also that Sanders would be president now if it had not occurred. – Again, the polls confirm this.

        This insane blame-shifting is pathetic and will not work. – It is just so much writhing in the tar pits by the sinking dinosaurs that are the corrupt corporate Democrats.

  23. Sebastian Smith says:

    Bill Maher’s jokes have always been right on the line. This is no exception to that. As soon as I heard Sen. Sasse say “Come to Nebraska, to work in the fields” I immediately thought of slaves picking cotton. So I can’t fault Bill for thinking the samething.

    I agree with Cube though why did Bill think it was okay for him to say that on National Television, even if it did just pop out and he knew it would be a funny as hell joke. We need to get to the root of why Caucasian individuals feel ok or relaxed enough within themselves to freely say the word in reference to African Americans. Why?! Is the question we need debated, talk about and answered.

    Still love that dude though! It was funny as hell to me! I laughed for a good minute, right after I heard it. Then I realized oh damn he’s in serious trouble here.

    Glad he apologized effortlessly and without having to be pled with or negotiated with to do so…

    Thumps up to Bill Maher!

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      Maher didn’t say the word in reference to African-Americans. He said it in reference to himself. Sasse’s comment about “working in the fields” was a dog whistle. He was alluding to stereotypes of Jews as city slickers – as opposed to the hard-working Protestant farm folk of Nebraska. Maher could have called him on that. Instead, he went for the word play – and picked the one word that would render his point moot.

      Why does anybody think that word is acceptable? If the word is that evil, if its very mention – in any context – conjures up painful images of centuries of abuse – why are we asking who said it and not why anybody is still saying it? It’s a little silly to weep over its use by Maher after fronting a band called N.W.A. Where is this indignation every time HBO shows a Tarentino flick? Inconsistent indignation reeks of posturing and politics.

  24. Frank says:

    Not really. It’s the black culture that refuses to assimilate and prefers being the victim. Asians don’t demand attention or claim being victims.

    • John Thomas says:

      When were Asians ever slaves in the U.S.? – Try some history.

      • John Thomas says:

        That anyone would equate the four-year-mistake of treating Japanese-Americans as POWs during World War II to 600 years of white people keeping Blacks as slaves, shows how totally clueless you are.

      • John Thomas says:

        Avenger07 – Wow. – Another incredibly racist post. – I know all about the shameful Japanese-American internment camps during WWII, of course. — That you excrete about “DNA differences” and equate those four years of mistakenly treating some Japanese-Americans as POWS to 600 years of Blacks being held as slaves by whites, shows how completely clueless you are.

      • Bill Kilpatrick says:

        Google is your friend, John Thomas. Google about the treatment of Asians in America. You don’t have to have been a slave to have been mistreated. I guess certain kinds of cavalier attitudes and statements don’t get scrutinized. Good for you, huh?

      • Avenger07 says:

        Yeah, actually you need to go back and read some history, truth is people like the Japanese are known as the model minority for something, it’s in their DNA, instead of playing the victim card and crying about internment camps all the time.

  25. Tommy-2 says:


  26. sulaymanf says:

    But Bill IS still a racist. Even if you put aside his long history of obnoxious comments about black people and his repeated use of the N-word while on TV, he also is proudly against Arabs of all sorts. Let alone his bigotry against all Muslims, his mocking of transgender people, and so on.

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      I never liked his painting of Islam or Muslims with a broad brush. I think he’s made some statements, regarding Muslims and Islam, that were reckless and sloppy. But not every criticism is wrong to make. Islam represents and inspires a billion people around the world. You can’t say somebody is a terrorist just because they’re Muslim. It’s also worth noting that this nation has had domestic terrorists who were Christian, atheist, anarchist, communist – etc. But right now, there is a problem within the Muslim community. There’s a generation of impressionable youth who are falling prey to the dogma of zealots. Maher’s criticisms of female circumcision, honor killings, restrictive clothing standards for women, etc. are equal opportunity criticisms. They don’t make him a racist, though other statements come off as reckless.

  27. Myra Francis says:

    All the Black people on the show say that it was a teaching moment. As a Black woman from the Caribbean, I cannot attest to how that word makes Black Americans feel, but as a Black individual, I think that instead of Black people using that word as a term of endearment to take back the power, A) take responsibility for why Bill thought that he could use that word and B) take back the power of allowing that word to victimize them. I have never been called that word to my face, and frankly if I were, I would not have been hurt because that is not who I am. What does hurt me is to hear Black people loosely call each other that word, even if they put an a at the end; and what irritates me is to see them feel slighted when White people join in on the fun.

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      Good point. The word is either offensive or it’s not. If it’s that traumatic, nobody should use it. It’s counter-productive.

  28. Steve Barr says:

    By the way . Trump never apologizes for anything. Bill Maher is a decent guy .Trump is a thug but everybody already knows that .

  29. Allan von Mehlem says:

    Regarding the use of the N word, Bill’s guests tonight were correct that it stems in part from white privelidge. The main reason is his age, there was a time when it was commonly used, look at Blazing Saddles, It was common to hear N word jokes, jokes about the disabled, pedophilia, incest, sex with anjmals, even 911 and Aushwitz!. Before the present politically correct society just about anything was fair game. Bill grew up in a society with a different mindset, he, like the rest of us have come to realize that it is no longer acceptable behavior I was charged with impaired driving 35 + years ago(3 month license suspension, 500 dollar fine, second impaired 6 month suspension and 21 days), none of my friends chastised me in the least, their comments /questions were all related to helping them beat a breathalyzer test next time they were pulled over. If you get nailed with impaired now it is a minimum 1 year suspension. There is a huge difference between making a concious decision to get impaired and drive, and on the spur of the moment blurting out a comment. It was not a scripted spot, it was just a DOH!

    • John Thomas says:

      Baloney – I’m older than Maher and I’ve known all my life not to say that word. — Actually, the fact that it just “slipped out” is worse than if it was intentional. – That means it wasn’t a planned part of his comedy act, it was a view into how Maher really thinks and talks with his friends. – This brings to mind Hillary Clinton’s infamous statement, “You have to have a public position on the issues and a private one.”

      It’s going to take a lot more than an apology to fix this. As Ice Cube said, “I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche.”

      • John Thomas says:

        Bill Kilpatrick ——- Again, please show me where George Carlin used the N-word. – It never happened.

        Trying to communicate with people like you is difficult because you miss key points – like when I noted I’m older than Bill Maher. – Yet, you accuse me of being a millennial. – I wish. 8^) – But no. I’m firmly in the Boomer crowd.

        You missed that Maher himself said this was a slip and totally unplanned. – Yet you paint the wild scenario this was part of a plan to “counter Sasse’s dog whistle antisemitism.”

        Are you saying Maher lied? – Better adjust that tin-foil hat.

      • Bill Kilpatrick says:

        It wasn’t a slip. It was completely intentional. It was an attempt to counter Sasse’s dog whistle antisemitism. The slip was in miscalculating how people would react.

        Maher didn’t say the n-word because he grew up in an America where doing so was okay. He said it because he grew up in a 60s generation that valued pushing every taboo. The Boomers pulled down every icon they could find, which is why Maher and his buddies – black and white – were trying to have an adult conversation involving the prodigious use of the F-word. In Maher’s generation, there were no bad words. Every taboo could be challenged. He – and George Carlin and Lenny Bruce and others – would say it was about context.

        Millennials are cut from a different cloth. If Boomers rebelled against their parents’ generation – and its taboo against the use of certain terms (and subjects) in a “family” setting – Millennials will go on record as the most sensitive (and punitive) generation since the Salem Witch Trials. What a preening crowd of posturing poseurs, all out to find the malfeasant among us. As a member of Generation X, I laugh at your self-importance. Go hit those windmills, gang. Do it in the name of the king of Spain.

        Buried in all of this was Maher’s joke, which was not about slavery or Jim Crow. It was his admission that he was never cut out to work in the fields, not even the fields of Nebraska.

        Ironically, the easily buried point of this exchange was Sasse’s thesis that people need to grow up. Imagine that.

  30. Lornea P says:

    I cringed as soon as he said it. Ice Cube did a great job of “mixing it up” with Maher about why it is important he never say that word again. Though for me, I do not find it acceptable for anyone to use that word.

  31. C says:

    We love Bill! He didn’t live our pain, but he certainly feels our pain every week when he speaks out on behalf of all races, to include the poor. The piece that’s missing is: he made that reference “about himself” to another Caucasian man-think about it…maybe it got Rep Sasse’s attention and maybe everyone should stop using “the n-word”. We love you Bill!

  32. Frank says:

    Why would anyone connect the word field with n word and say house n word??????? He has to have field relate to blacks???? And then relate field blacks as opposed to house blacks.
    It’s just too sick to excuse.

    • Bill Kilpatrick says:

      I am so tired of all the Olympic judging of comics. A comic made a joke. It wasn’t funny because the point was too obscure. It also wasn’t funny because the language was so tasteless and offensive as to ruin the ride. Comedy is about catch and release. Create a conflict. Resolve it through absurdity. Hit a button like that and, depending on how close you are to the issue, there’s no easy release. Instead of a laugh, you end up with “offense.”

      But not getting the joke at all is an admission of something other than righteous indignation.

      Sasse hit Maher with the comment, “We’d love to see you working in the fields with us.” Maher didn’t hear “with us” so much as “working in the fields.” It was a dog whistle (evidently, since it went right over your head). There’s an old antisemitic caricature of Jews as people who live in cities, who don’t know anything about good, hard, manual labor – not like the Godfearing Protestant Christian farm folk of Nebraska.

      That’s what Sasse dropped at Maher’s feet before cowering behind “with us.”

      Maher felt the slap and slapped back. While the initial slap was antisemitic, the counterblow was to suggest that these Godfearing white Protestant Christian farm folk were a bunch of racists – or at least the GOP is.

      But instead of cornering Sasse on an issue that would have taken too long to discuss, Maher shot back with a play on words. He made a joke about himself, how he was too wimpy to be a field hand. If anything, he’d be a house servant.

      And while the house servant point is Maher maneuvering against an antisemitic slur, it lacked punch. There just isn’t any easily recognizable flip – within a strictly Jewish context. This Nebraska Republican has – sub rosa – called Maher a lazy little Jew. Maher’s reply back was, in essence, to say, “I may be lazy and I may be a Jew but at least I’m not a racist pig like you.”

      He did it smiling, with the “house n——-” comment. It was clever. It was shrewd. It was thoroughly intentional. There was no slip.

      The slip was in miscalculating public reaction to the use of the n’ word. People didn’t see a Jewish comic blocking a cheap shot from a Nebraska Republican (real or imagined). They saw a liberal use the ‘n word. He pushed the button that brought about instant outrage.

      Baby Boomers valued taboo-smashing. They loved outraging conservatives by trashing their values, especially their fits over language, their prohibitions against dirty words. That’s why Lenny Bruce used the n-word in his act, as did George Carlin. They never thought they’d see the day when they would be cast as the racists.

      • John Thomas says:

        You totally misrepresent George Carlin and other comedians. – Carlin said you just can’t consider the N-word by itself, but the CONTEXT it is used in. – He went on to explain how it’s okay for Black people to use it because of context – but NOT for white people.

        Try to get the whole picture.

  33. Jane Hiram says:

    Bill I love your show and keep up whoever has never sinned let them throw the first stone and anyway you have apologized I forgave you and I am black.

  34. Don says:

    Bill, the best show I have seen. Keep up the good work. Keep on them

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