Bill Maher Lines Up Michael Eric Dyson to Replace Al Franken in Wake of N-Word Scandal

Bill Maher Michael Eric Dyson

Bill Maher will host academic and author Michael Eric Dyson on this Friday’s “Real Time” following Sen. Al Franken’s announcement he would not appear on the show due to Maher’s use of the n-word during last week’s show.

Dyson, who is African-American, came to Maher’s defense after backlash began to mount following his use of the controversial term. “[Maher] has bravely, and relentlessly, pilloried racism, white privilege, and white indifference to the black plight,” Dyson wrote on Twitter. “In short, he has 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.” Read Dyson’s full statement below.

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

On last week’s “Real Time,” Maher was doing an interview with Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse when the Senator invited Maher to come to Nebraska and “work in the fields.” Maher replied, “Work in the fields? I’m a house n—–.” The moment quickly garnered attention on social media with viewers quick to criticize the host and HBO, calling for the network to fire him. HBO said the remark would be edited out of future airings of the episode and issued a statement saying, “Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless.”


real time with bill maher

‘Real Time’ Doesn’t Need to Go, But Bill Maher Should Be Fired (Opinion)

Maher was swift to issue an apology, stating, “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.”

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  1. Anthony Rossi says:

    I should have read other remarks before posting mine. I’m short on time this morning, so I missed the post. I’ll come back later read more. It is true HBO has no sponsors, only subscribers. Therefore, they can get away with just about anything. If they really cared about our wonderful country, they would be at the top of all cable channels. I’m not sure they are. However, if people do as I did – CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS!!!! Main reason, I don’t care for Mr. Maher, secondly some of their programing on HBO is just beyond belief. HBO in it’s early years (late 80s and 90s) was a very good cable channel, but now it’s slithering in the gutter with it’s programing and nearly antique movies. They following the trash networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC, and, in some respects, FOX News. It won’t be long before Fox News is in the gutter with the rest of them.

  2. Anthony Rossi says:

    What a double standard. It’s fine for Maher, and a few others, to make these types of repulsive remarks, but removing historic monuments because they reflect our early American history are okay. It makes no sense. The past is the past and removing those historic monuments or changing the names of buildings, bridges, and schools just because the person named on those structures were slave owners is unbelievable and not good for our country. We cannot bypass our history. It’s there and we should learn from it, but trying to remove names will only leave a void in history and it may be forgotten. We should never forget what errors our country had committed. Lets learn from it and make sure we never repeat the mistakes. Christians are crucified daily by the media and people like Maher, but very little is ever mentioned or the person making these stupid remarks are seldom brought to pay for what they say and do to Christians and Jews. As for Maher, he should be “FIRED”!!!

  3. WhiteKnight1 says:

    Now whiny millennials are learning a lesson that they can’t bully HBO into firing Bill by typing words on social media. It won’t work because HBO doesn’t have sponsors, HBO is paid directly by the viewer. And the viewers don’t give a f***.

  4. Glenda says:

    I don’t think Bill Maher or anyone should used the word because it is derogatory and demeaning to me as a African American female. Other races have been called very demeaning names as a race and they do not hold it up the word as a term of endearment and they will fight if the word is mentioned. Ask them. African Americans do not really own anything or have any power on the world stage. Why would I want to call myself by a word that gives power to the originator of the word and none to me. People please lets have some respect and love for ourselves and retire that word.

  5. loco73 says:

    This is a controversy only in the fevered imaginations of pretend keyboard social justice warriors and boutique activists, determined to bring about an end to discrimination…by really showing their moral superiority and outrage at the “ugly Neanderthal” Bill “He Is Racist” Maher. Why?! Because its easy and it doesn’t cost them anything, no effort, no pain, no suffering, no loss. You know as Maher himself once aptly described this type of people, “rebels without a clue”. Yep.

    Hey “rebels without a clue”, your country is being pulled from under you, you want something to rage at, try saving your democracy! How about focussing your righteous anger on something that actually matters?

    And to all those people posting here very certain of their own moral rectitude, you might want to be careful that you yourselves don’t do or say something wrong, lest you also end up being judged and found guilty by the same vengeful virtual mob you are part of…Let’s see you then try to explain your way out of something similar when you’ve already been convicted and found guilty by default.

  6. Gator says:

    One word can sum this up. RACIST

  7. Maher circling his Bro wagons, calling in the markers to get him out of a jam. Wish I could be there to slip up with the A-word. But I too sweepy.

  8. Marty says:

    Don’t you dare fire him. So what if he slipped, he’s usually 100%. You could never find anyone who could come close to his magic. I personally would drop HBO if his show was not available. He is one person who is NOT replaceable. Love you Bill.

    • Lynn Lawson says:

      Agreed. I don’t understand why people concerned with racism would not (like Dyson) see this as an opportunity to discuss the problem and help others understand. Bill a Maher is not a racist and probably got too comfortable for that reason and thought he could use the word to describe himself. This may be the first time he has ever apologized for something he has said so that should tell us that he is taking it seriousl. Byinviting Dyson to appear to replace the disappointing Al Franken who is apparently too spineless to confront the controversy head on, Maher once again demonstrates that he is not afraid to confront the truth and that he relishes these opportunities to hash things out. This is far more effective in solving the problem of racism than the mob mentality’s call for his head.

  9. kevin says:

    Why is it if an openly democrat person says or does something racist, its all dodge and cover for them – followed by explanations of how what they did wasn’t racist at all, just misunderstood. But ANYONE that isn’t openly part of the democratic party says or does something racist they are never, ever forgiven even when it is known that the person isn’t racist, and just made a horrible judgment (Anyone remember Ted Danson, and how his career ended after he showed up to a party black faced? While he was openly dating Whoopi Goldberg? She even laugh through the whole bit) Racism is wrong regardless of political affiliation, and all you democrats that keep on saying how racist the republicans are, are the same ones here defending Bill Mahr and his racist joke.

  10. JeanMarie Watts says:

    This society is in trouble when you can’t speak openly about racism. In my opinion, when people attempt to make every “quote or joke” an issue, in my opinion racism is personified and the evil is fed. When people get offended they are not offended by what is said, it not blacks, it is the generations of the offenders who refuse to face the reality of the entire ordeal. Yes they are over it because it did not happen to them. What is troublesome is the fact that they use any incident to steer us back to the entire memory of what we went through and to remind us that this is our place and we should pass this legacy down through our generations. When we refuse, an issue such as this is “defended” on our behalf to remind us that we should dwell in self pity, self deprecation, believe that we are unworthy moving forward because we are reminded that there are many out there who refuse to admit to their historical contribution to past atrocities. Just as they think that every familial relations to a criminal makes us criminal, The long lineage of their criminality makes them criminals, and this is not a guess, it is recorded in history in their depressive actions, their avarice, their lack of understanding of our culture, and desire to force us to be like them.

    Respect my intelligence, and I will respect yours! Respect my culture as you wish that I respect yours!
    Ignore my right to be me and I will ignore any rights you think are solely yours. Don’t condemn my self confidence as a personal affront towards you. When my grandparents and g-grandparents stood for my future, that confidence was instilled and passed on.

    Bill Maher made a joke out of a demeaning comment that meant absolutely nothing, but a laugh. If you are offended by that then you need to re-access yourself and realize that the statement that preceded his response was the insult. Not his response. If you can’t openly talk about race then you are the racist! I have no problem with it. You are the one with issues, not Mr. Maher. You have been manipulated and you can’t even see it.

  11. Wellll..if it had been a conservative host his/her job would gone !!

  12. Chris Christie's Belt says:

    He was not calling anyone that.
    Black people that use it in a derogatory way against other blacks are worse.

    • kevin says:

      “He was not calling anyone that.
      Black people that use it in a derogatory way against other blacks are worse”

      – so your saying that black people are just too sensitive and that there is nothing wrong with calling people that word? Or that black people are hypocritical because they use the word and don’t take it as racist, but when a white person uses the word it makes it automatically racist, which it shouldn’t?

  13. Bill W. says:

    Dyson brings up some very good points. Maher is definitely a champion for black rights and equality. I watch Maher every Friday that he is on. He is always on the side of what is right. He will easily put down his own race when he sees racial injustice. I saw it live when he used the N-word. He wasn’t using the word with any disrespect or in any derogatory way towards any black person. In fact, he used it in a way that poked fun at Southern slave owners. At least that’s the way I took it. You have to look at the context here. Just because someone says the N-word does not necessarily mean they had any ill intent. Frankly, I am disappointed in Al Franken for judging someone by his use of one word (and not even considering the context) instead of judging him by the character he has displayed throughout his career.

    • JeanMarie Watts says:

      I agree whole-heartily ! Also any use of the “N” word is derogative. You can’t change what it means. Though it should mean nothing to blacks, it has an inherent meaning to others. I don’t use the word. If I should, you will know by the context, that I am not using it as a slang!!

      • kevin says:

        Have you seen how he used it too? He used it like it was just another word, like one you say all the time and don’t think about it when you say it. I’m guessing he uses the word ALOT when there are no cameras around, it came out way too easy if he didn’t.

  14. Michael Hutton says:

    America is a nation which idolizes Kim Kardashian who won fame by an explicit sex video at the same time as turning a word into a thing forceful enough to end careers and considering it a moral imperative. This is absurd! False morality becomes a prison.

  15. FRED VEA says:

    The N word? Have you ever considered it’s beginning? And why that derogatory term still exists today? Words are powerful! Ask yourself these questions and regardless who speaks it and in what context, the N word conveys disrespect, is demeaning, and most regrettable hateful

  16. Clarke says:

    Predictably, Maher finds some Maher-friendly black to defend his ignorance.

    • kevin says:

      exactly…..bring in some black people to try and cover up my racist comment. Its called PR. Remember Ray Rice beating on his wife….bring out wife and have her say how it is okay. This is what they do, pay a PR company to cover up their mistakes. Notice how many famous black people are coming out and saying “he isn’t racist, it was just a bad joke”. I got the clip from youtube, it wasn’t a bad joke….it was completely out of context and should have never been thrown into the conversation, especially as easy as it was for him. He did it like it is a word he uses 100 times a day, and was no big deal to throw it out there.

    • marco pol says:

      And if Sean Hannity or Rush said that there would be protests outside of their studios, protests suggesting boycotts of their sponsors, and 24/7 news coverage of it for weeks. Maher says it, (Friday night lack of sleep (yah right)) and you barely hear about it.

      • kevin says:

        That’s because they are not democrats…..Its sad to say, but it is true. If any openly democrat person says something racist, demeaning to women, or disrespectful there is a whole army of defenders that come out. Remember when Ted Danson did his black face routine while he was dating Whoopi? We all know that Ted isn’t racist, and that he didn’t mean what he did to be racist or demeaning to anyone….but it was racist and demeaning, and his career pretty much ended because of it. There is absolutely no reason Bill Mahr should get any different treatment, especially after how easy it was for him to say that… it rolled off his tongue like it is something he says all the time, which was the most disturbing part for me.

      • Agreed Clarke and Marco..they would be fired !

  17. Denise Goldman says:

    Uncle Tom Dyson. What a moron. Maher picks a house negro to defend him.

  18. eduardo says:

    Thank god HBO didn’t fire him, it was incredible to see how variety and the huffington post immediately jumped on the let’s crucify Maher boat when not even the daly beast a more lefty radical site did, what was beautiful is how the support for Maher was overwhelming, also highlighted the fact that people who started the outrage at those sites and some others aren’t even black for the most part, i was so ready to cancel my HBO subscription, called them up, emailed them, and by the looks of it so many people did. people are such children now, from asshole studen “leaders” banning public speakers at universities to PC trolls online destroying peoples lives with their “outrage” campaigns, it has got to stop.

  19. Brian O'Neill says:

    I guess we will see how much Michael Eric Dyson loves Maher. Al Franken is a pussy. That is something that Stuart Smalley would do. BTW, Maher is good enough, he’s smart enough and, goshdarnit, people like him. Trace it, face it and erase Maher’s comment from your mind and get back on his show.

  20. demo crat says:

    N word, for black use only? Are you kidding me? How on earth is it OK to reserve a word for one race, but no other? Oh thats right . . . blacks, by definition today, can’t be racists. Get a brain, people.

    • OK, so since you have such a vested interest in being allowed to say the word, go ahead and say it, say it often, say it loud, say it every day, say it in public, say it in polite company, say it in front of your parents, say it so that everyone within earshot can hear you. Say it, especially, to every single Black person you meet, and make it utterly clear to them that you love that word and that you will be using it in their presence regularly. Say it in front of your boss. Say it in front of your customers (if you have any). Say it to everyone you meet, without exception.

      And then, hey, let the chips fall where they may. But nobody’s going to tell you what you can and cannot say, right?

  21. Julian Penrod says:

    A number of points that could be considered.
    Among other things, it seems Maher was comfortable using the “epithet” in this way, and that suggests that he has a history of using it. That he uses it frequently. It is likely a common element of his speech. That and many other terms and phrases declared “offensive” or even actionable. So any pose of being the kind of individual what has come to be known as “liberalism” calls “noble” is a lie.
    More than that, he likely had more than infrequent contact with other individuals who what has come to be called “liberalism” would term “noble”, as well. They likely heard him use those terms casually and carelessly, what they would denounce anyone else for using. They know his nature. Yet they never blew the whistle on him! Franken evidently heard Maher and such use such terms regularly, but would have had him on his show. Except when it was made widely known that Maher used the term! They would condemn any others who used such terms once, but would never reveal the fact that they are likely second nature to such as Maher. Among other things, to maintain solidarity of what has come to be called “liberalism” against all humanity, and, also, because they likely use the same terms themselves, frequently, as well!
    Which brings up Dyson’s description of Maher as working for black interests. If he isn’t automatically to be condemned for the use of the “epithet”, how can that legitimately be used to automatically condemn anyone? Face it, despite pictures that O.J. Simpson beat Nicole bloody, the fact that Mark Fuhrman used the “epithet” once was used to “prove” that he staged a massive attempt to “finger” Simpson! Now, suddenly, using the term is innocent? And, face it, so often crooks and liars seek to hide their malignance by pretending to be “humanitarians”. And, face it, just how valid are the things Dyson praises Maher for? “White privilege”? There are no whites walking around in ten year old shoes because they can’t afford hundred and fifty dollar athlete endorsed sneakers every year? There are no white drunkards? “White privilege” is a lie.

    • Bill W. says:

      White Privilege is a lie? You are obviously white. I am white too. But I choose not to bury my head in the sand and ignore what is blatantly around us. I’m sure if you walked a day in a black man’s shoes you’d quickly notice that there is definitely white privilege in this country and throughout the world.

      • Lester says:

        If there is white privilege, there is also privilege based on all different types of races. Simple logic, ladies and gentlemen. This isn’t a one way street like the media wants you to believe. If you’re feeling guilty because of your race, it’s time to do some serious soul searching.

      • Spot on,Julian..could not have said it better

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