Bill Maher Apologizes for Using N-Word on HBO’s ‘Real Time’

real time with bill maher
Courtesy of HBO

Bill Maher has issued an apology for using the N-word on Friday’s edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”


Bill Maher Real Time

Pressure Builds on HBO, Bill Maher After Host Uses Racial Slur on ‘Real Time’

Maher said in a statement: “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.”

A rep for Maher said the comedian was traveling on Saturday and unavailable for further comment. He is scheduled to do a comedy performance at Indianapolis’ Murat Theater on Sunday.

The storm around Maher’s use of the phrase “house n—–” during an interview segment has been building via social media ever since the show’s 10 p.m. East Coast airing. The incident prompted some to revisit past statements from Maher about Muslims and LGBTQ people that have been widely deemed offensive.

HBO is facing calls to fire Maher. The cabler issued a statement Saturday calling Maher’s choice of words “completely inexcusable and tasteless” but stopped short of any formal sanction against the host. Maher’s apology came about two hours after HBO’s statement. According to a source, Maher was surprised by the volume of the backlash but was also motivated to take the highly unusual (for him) step of issuing a statement out of sincere regret.

As of Saturday afternoon, “Real Time” is expected to air next week in its usual 10 p.m. Friday slot.

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  1. Jack says:

    So that’s it then. Let’s forget everything good Bill Maher ever did or said. Let’s diminish him to a sub-human level and move quickly to silence him and anyone who speaks well of him ever again. No apology is enough, certainly not for a white man. Is this what our party has become? A lynch mob?

  2. chance steiner says:

    Black americans should stop using the word if it is so terrible, I hear them say it to each other on a daily basis and I cringe each time and just shake my head… they say its ok for them to use it… I say no it is not!!! I believe maher is sorry for what I think was a slip of the tongue brought on by the guest saying work in the fields with us.. he was trying to be funny and as soon as he said it I could tell he wished he could take it back….

  3. Camille Feinberg says:


    • J. Carpenter says:

      I’m sure you would feel EXACTLY the same way if Dennis Miller was on Sean Hannity and when asked, hypothetically. about his daughter’s forthcoming marriage said, “We’re very excited about our daughter marrying a n@#$%r. Nobody in our family knows how to make really good chicken or where to get the best watermelon.”

      What’s the difference?

      I’d bet my ass you would be calling for Miller to be waterboarded but you want to give Maher a pass.

      Your belief that Maher was “making fun of what should be made of fun” is staggering in its ignorance. What exactly was he making fun of? The antibellum plantation system, where some black Americans labored in cotton fields and others served their masters in the “big house’? House slaves were still slaves, despite easier work, but they were still slaves and were often abused, raped or killed by slave masters.

      And that’s something that SHOULD be made fun of.”

      Fair enough. Let’s make fun of Mexican kids who die in trucks illegally crossing the border. That should be a real hoot.

  4. Chris Rosa says:

    Are you kidding me? He’s a comedian. Never punish comedian’s for what they say. They only sin for a comedian…not be funny. I admit, “Bill, not that funny”. But that should be the end of it. Al Franken you have turned into a bozo.

  5. Florence Ferguson says:

    If they fire Bill, I’ll fire more HBO if they fire Bill Maher.

  6. ImaHippyBurning says:

    Cannot stand this PissAnt Limp Noodle and his Show of Group Think Lemmings! But, I am not like them whatsoever. They need to control Free Speech and silence those who do not speak with PC Deceit. Let him be and let him continue to show America and The World who he really is!

  7. Ral Jensen says:

    Maher has been using distasteful and crude material for years, why should HBO stop him now?

    • Florence Ferguson says:

      You are a russian commie lover you idiot rump do not believe in the constitution or bill of rights to say to silence anyone
      ….buck up cupcake commie conservative…you have no hearts, no empathy, and no intelligence, as proven by your chosen leader, idiot orange…..go bury your head back in the sand and let the adults in the room have their voices.

  8. William Bedloe says:

    It’s obvious that Putin put Maher up to it.

    • J. Carpenter says:

      Re: Florence Ferguson: I bet you skipped fifth grade and went right from t he fourth to the sixth. It gets tougher from there. Middle school is a huge leap. I’m assuming your rant was that of an eleven or twelve year old. At least, that’s how it sounds when you use a witty expression such as “idiot rump voter”.

  9. William Bedloe says:

    HBO won’t fire Maher – liberals don’t get fired. They get promoted.

  10. tomkay1012 says:

    He’s not sorry. As most liberals do, they use others, step on and over to attain their objective(s). He is no different See Hillary Clinton. And this is exactly how liberals see their minority base.
    The president knows this fact and has not been shy in saying so. Remember then candidate Trump reaching out to dem voter when he told them “…what have you got to lose? You’ve voted dem all your life and nothing has changed. Give me your vote and your life will be so much better…”

  11. Klaus says:

    Maher is scheduled to do a comedy performance at Indianapolis’ Murat Theater on Sunday. Talk about “work in the fields”.

  12. Danny S. says:

    The guest’s comment about “working the fields” kind of invited Maher’s response. I guess he could have said “slave” instead of “ni**er”, but the meaning would have been the same, and everyone knows it.

  13. These pretentiousness, immoral, cavalier useless comedians believe they are last bastion of Truth on earth. FIRE HIM.

  14. millerfilm says:

    Maher relies on “controversy” to stay “relevant.”

  15. dunkiedobber says:

    He didn’t need to issue such a long apology. As a liberal, he could have mumbled a couple of unintelligible grunts and gotten the automatic pass given all liberals.

  16. Pounce Kitty says:

    Maher and Hillary are two sociopaths, evil and racist at their core. No wonder she lost. No wonder he’s losing. These two are the WORST of our country.

    • J. Carpenter says:

      That’s brilliant. HBO is one of a small group of outlets where Maher can advance his agenda and you want to hurt them. Liberal irrationality exemplified.

      • J. Carpenter says:

        Re: Pounce Kitty: You apparently don’t even know what a sociopath is and employing the term with respect to Maher and Clinton puts you in the same sludge pool if ignorance as liberals who say the same thing about Trump.

  17. John Woodhar says:

    stick it to them where it hurts the pocketbook.

  18. macd says:

    The only reason why I subscribe to HBO is to see Bill Maher’s show. Maher is usually called “a standup comedian” but he is so much more than that. He is a brilliant satirist and a breath of fresh air as the world is quickly going to hell. The only thing I find shocking is the fact that he was bullied into apologizing for using a word my black friends use all the time. It is Trump who should be apologizing–to Maher, to the citizens of the U.S. and the world–for his gross misconduct on a daily basis in the once-hallowed position as the POTUS.
    It all boils down to one simple but very crucial matter: Bill Maher has a keen sense of humor, directed at himself just as often as he uses it as a weapon against the insufferable humorless toads currently inhabiting the White House. Trump has no sense of humor–just like Nixon, Hitler, Stalin and countless other luminaries before him. And when the world loses its sense of humor (as it seems to be doing right now), can the end of the human race be that far in the future?

    • macd, none of this has anything to do with Trump. He is under fire from his fellow progressives, not Trump. This is a case of progressives eating their own, and I hope they destroy the vile little subversive.

      Your insults to our president require YOU to now apologize to real Americans for your vile words. You are clearly a seditious piece of crap, and have no right to exist.

      • Florence Ferguson says:

        THANK YOU!!! Everyone in this thread is a brainwashed cupcake commie conservative…they wouldn’t know the truth if it was shoved in their faces, as witnessed by the WHOLE WORLD..they have zero reasoning capabilities.

      • J. Carpenter says:

        RE: macd: The fact that you are yet one more buffoon that is likening Trump to Stalin and Hitler (as well as placing Nixon’s name alongside of theirs– inhumane murderers who ordered the slaughter of 40,000,000 human beings) indicates you are morally bankrupt and incapable of making moral distinctions rational human beings can.

        Insofar as your assanine belief that the world has lost it’s sense of humor you kiss the ring of Bill Maher and he is yet another liberal who has now outraged not only those who do not share his political beliefs but blacks as well.

        As to your ignorant suggestion that Maher merely echoed a word used by blacks themselves and there is no reason for it to be considered offensive, then why are black Americans denouncing him? Even a middle schooler gets that while it may not be offensive fof a black American to use the word, it is far worse than an insult when a white person does because it was the vile, ignorant title whites gave to blacks for at least a century.

        The world and humanity are just going to be fine. There wasn’t much to laugh about when the black plague was ravaging Europe or the Spanish inquisition was hunting down heretics to burn at the stake, and we survived as a species. If there is anything that merits laughter it is your ludicrous belief that not thinking Maher is brilliant, particularly funny, or satirist may mark the end of civilization as we know it.

    • Michael Kearney says:

      You sound utterly ridiculous bringing up Trump in a discussion about a privelidged white man using a word no white man should ever use. You said it yourself, your “black” friends, of which you probably have now, use the word. Well, Bill isn’t black so end of discussion. Pick another article TK bash Trump if you want but your nonsense has no credibility on this thread.

      • Michael Kearney says:

        To correct my grammar, I meant that your “black” friends are fictional and the TK should be to. That should stop further nonsense by you.

    • mariee says:

      OK Bill, we know how you feel about yourself! Geez, these people are myopic!

  19. Snake Pliskin says:

    Mahar, like Ms. Griffin or Stephen Colbert doesn’t know any better. It goes back to the way they were raised; or not raised in the case of intolerant, ugly, hateful leftists.

  20. bowmarbrain says:

    Will be followed tomorrow by a tearful press conference where he’ll say that Trump broke him, broke him, broke him.

  21. I’ve come to the conclusion that HBO is responsible for there actions and contents it’s simple for me a complete no brainier I cancelled HBO period

  22. YarplyTwelve says:

    He has a habit of saying racist and misogynist remarks, so I doubt anything will happen to him. Evidently he is to important to the left

  23. MissHiiggi says:

    “As of Saturday afternoon, “Real Time” is expected to air next week in its usual 10 p.m. Friday slot.” End of discussion. Stop with the feigned & grossly exaggerated indignation. When the same outrage is expressed for trump to apologize to even a fraction of the people he has DELIBERATELY offended, then we can call for Bill Maher to be fired. Otherwise and until such time, accept what seems a sincere apology expressed by Bill and move on. By no means should his show be cancelled or interrupted, NO MATTER WHAT trump or the repulsive republicans, who can’t see wrong when their folks do it and who are only exploiting this for propaganda, SAY… Stay focused folks. It’s ALL about the Russians!!!

    See ya’ Friday night on HBO Bill!!!

    • LouCsplainin says:

      Russians.???? Good God.. To use your own words “who can’t see wrong when their folks do it ”
      Sounds like you’re describing the left . Cling to your double standard and enjoy your cutting edge humor shows as your ship slowly sinks. Bon Voyage

  24. If it smells like S__t, looks like S__t, acts like S__t and talks like S__t….it is probably Bill Maher! Or Kathy Griffin.

    • LouCsplainin says:

      Russians.???? Good God.. To use your own words “who can’t see wrong when their folks do it ”
      Sounds like you’re describing the left . Cling to your double standard and enjoy your cutting edge humor shows as your ship slowly sinks. Bon Voyage

  25. burfs says:

    Bill Maher, an LLC Scorp, created to avoid taxes, and wealthy 1%er about Hollywood, isnt sorry about anything…..He mocks america….black and white alike.

  26. Chalee Jones McMartinez says:

    The joke was funny. It was farce. People that don’t get it because of some blanket reaction to a word are the ones that need to stop and think and apologize for their ignorance.

    Its absolutely disheartening how stupid and weak minded the American public has become.

    And screw Bill Maher for apologizing and kowtowing to ignorant fools.

  27. N Waff says:

    Bill Maher – another example of the vile and putrid.

    The secular and the liberal have a never-ending goal of leveling the playing field of humanity – making all people equal. But this goal, however noble it may seems, creeps further into the absurdity and the secular and liberal can’t help it and can’t stop it.

    This consists of going to the bottom of the spectrum (the despicable, the vile and the putrid) and raises it up by giving it honor and dignity.

    This also consists of going to the top of the spectrum (the honorable, the noble and especially The Holy) and denigrating the hell out of it.

    This pattern plays out over and over.

  28. P.Campbell says:

    I am not a fan. I don’t care for his anti- Republican brand, but you have no right to silence him or any other individual you don’t like because of their views, religion, race or skin color. If people don’t want him to continue on HBO the ratings should govern that discussion.

  29. Rich Wilson says:

    Bill, Bill, Bill. It does NOT matter what night of the week it is…Dam Bull, stand up like man and apologize and let the cards fall where they fall. We will eventually forget the remark and move forward with the unfortunate knowledge you are prejudice.

  30. Justwondering says:

    I was raised that the N-word is the dirtiest word to say ever. Dirty than the full pronunciation of m-f’er or a-hole or any other curse word.

    I’m 30.

    Every day I hear 16-25 year olds using the same word Bill ACTUALLY used (which ends with an -a as opposed to -er). And they tell me there is a difference between the word that ends wh -a and the word that ends with -er. That it’s racist when it’s the -er and not racist if the word ends with an -a.

    But is there really a difference? Because in the end, people heard Bill Maher say the N-word with an -er instead of the actual word he used which ends with an -a.

  31. Mark Deckard says:

    I dont like Mahers ideology. I voted for Trump. But I dont have any reason to belive Maher is a racist. Saying what he said made racially ultra sensitive people mad. It made right wingers who would like to see him go down in flames outwardly mad but actually happy underneath.
    It was a dumb joke that fell flat and shattered. He is always under pressure to try and be funny all the time. Wandering into something like this is inevitable. All that said, if you live by the sword you die by the sword. Mahers stock and trade has been distorting the words and facts of the political right and creating unfair mockery. So he gets his own medicine. It was an Imus moment if ever there was one. Imus had to go to the woodshed because he wasnt enough of a lefty to be forgiven quickly. Maher will likely enjoy accelerated restoration because he is on the correct team.

  32. funksoul6 says:

    Smarter minorities are figuring out that the Democrat Liberals are the ones who are truly the racists and that their screams of “racism” every time a conservative speaks is actually self-serving and truly wrong. Democrats seem to accuse conservatives of the very things of which they themselves are guilty. The Left has used and abused minorities for way too long and has no intention of helping them achieve a higher place in society. Indeed, they try to just keep the minorities dependent upon the politicians so they will keep voting for them. Bill Maher is a classic example of this in action. He denigrates everything conservative, religion with actual standards, and American heritage and history to no end. He is a POS.

  33. caffeineator says:

    Maher isn’t going anywhere. His “slip of the tongue” would be considered a Freudian slip revealing his ego, id, or superego if Freud made any sense. Maher is as much a racist as Trump or the rest of us. Pretending we don’t consider race in our relationships is ridiculous. Sure we do. Based on all the stuff that has been called racist over the last couple of decades, I’m a racist and so are you. I like vanilla Ice cream. I don’t like black magic. I consider a black hole to be the most destructive force in existence. I use white paper to write letters. And on and on. Everything has been described in terms of race to justify freebies to blacks. Let them misspell words on college term papers. It is a cultural thing. Let them shoplift. It is a poverty thing. Let them beat some white kid to death yelling “kill whitey”. It is a societal thing, not a hate crime. Sure I’m a racist and glad to be one. It puts my life in the proper perspective. Oh, and I’m a Democrat from a Chicago Machine family of Democrats going back to Anton Cermak. I was born on Gresham Avenue and I’m a Bucktown homie. My relatives have bee Aldermen and Ward Heelers for the 1st and 5th Wards since 1931. I don’t know any family member in Chicago who isn’t a racist, but they’ll toe the line to get votes. That’s reality.

  34. Steve Hollar says:

    Give it a rest people. We’re getting sillier by the day. If you don’t like what these nitwits sometimes say, don’t listen to them. I would have never known that Maher made this statement without it being plastered all over the media.

  35. Jerry Gibbs says:

    you really don’t show alot of intelligence using the tired name LIbtard It only make you look like one

  36. J. Carpenter says:

    …You’re such a child. You think that by saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ all the errors and hurts of years past can be remedied, obliterated from the mind, all the poison drawn from old wounds.”

    –Rhett Butler, “Gone with the Wind”

  37. Dr. D says:

    Okay…. I guess this is where people will chime in with all types of false equivalencies claiming that what Bill Maher said in the context of a joke is of the same malicious intent of someone actually referring to an African American as a (N-word)….it’s not, a little insensitive maybe, (even though he was referring to himself), but definitely not malicious. One would seem to have very thin skin to let this type of thing bother them. (I am also of African American descendants)

  38. I belive it is his first ammendment right to say that, he has done it before and I can site a laundry list of cases where in the liberal arts it is considered often for comedic shock value. I think him and Colbert are okay and will not comment on the domestic terrorist mentioned in this article.

  39. Monzini Kredenza says:

    Maher uses a despicable word to describe someone and it’s no big deal. Oh, not the N- word. I mean the time in 2011 that he called Sarah Palin a “dumb tw-t”. Remember THAT outrage? No? Well there wasn’t any. You hypocrites have no soul and no heart, not to mention–no brains! Now the biggest hypocrite of all–HBO–will cover for this moron by editing the offensive N- word statement out of subsequent airings. Talk about censorship and covering your ass. Will HBO censor every movie they air that contains the word “nig–r”? How about “c-nt?” How about never again airing George Carlin’s performance with the “seven words you can never say on TV?” How about millions of us just dropping HBO from our cable packages?

    • Scoobs McDoo says:

      I’m surprised Maher has that much power over your life.

      • Monzini Kredenza says:

        Obviously you (purposely) missed the point. I don’t care whether Bill Maher succeeds or fails. Try addressing the hypocrisy issued and that alone. Or maybe you think the Macedonians did it.

      • Inspector Todd says:

        She’s merely calling out thehypocrisy of it all. And rightly so.

  40. Ponyexpress says:

    A common word, vulgar maybe, but a word, is now used as a political cudgel. What a bunch of crap.
    However, Maher is now being bitten by his own kind or blown up by his own petard . Karma strikes again lefties.

  41. Rik Mik says:

    It’s a WORD. It only has power over you IF you let it. I live in the south and am frequently called. “Cracker”, “Whitey” and several other choice pejorative that blacks like to toss out at whites. I could care less. If people think they can control my emotions and reactions by calling me names they are sadly mistaken.

    Blacks need to buck up and get tough instead of being perpetually offended. The best offense against someone calling you a derogatory name is to look them in the eye, laugh at them and say “well, bless your heart, aren’t you just special”. Then walk away.

    • Scoobs McDoo says:

      Yes, it’s often taken to far. However, please realize that it was exactly this kind of civil disobedience that helps blacks obtain rights and gain greater freedoms as equals over the years. If the downtrodden just smile and take their verbal abuse, the culture that keeps them downtrodden continues without obstruction. There is definitely a legit reason to be a drama queen and not accept even the smallest infractions against you.

      • J. Carpenter says:

        Re: Rik Mik. Bully for you. Would you be as dispassionate if you heard that someone was telling your neighbors that your wife was a “worthless whore” or your daughter a “cheap slut”. What’s the difference? The context? In both cases they’re only words.

  42. Newshound says:

    I think Mahar should be now treated with the exact same level of mercy, kindness, understanding, courtesy, respect and forgiveness which he has shown to every conservative/republican he has talked about on his shows. That means: He should be fired immediately, he should be banned from ever working in media ever again, his Hollywood millions should be taken away from him and given to illegal aliens, rioters should burn down his houses and destroy all his properties and businesses, he should be mobbed and beaten, then abducted, imprisoned in Chicago for two days and tortured until he can escape on his own.

    • Scoobs McDoo says:

      Clearly you’ve not watched his show. He has conservatives on all the time. While he may disagree with them and while he may often work as a comedian, he’s usually fairly respectful to them.
      Beyond that, there’s a long and unfortunate history regarding behavior of political opponents in this country. Name calling and muckraking seems to be the accepted form of communication — and you’re very misled if you think that only one side is responsible.

      The big difference is that Maher would always err on the side of free speech, even unfavorable speech, while many of his conservative opponents would also favor free speech… long as they agree with it.

  43. Uncle Remus says:

    On behalf of all of his former fans, I accept Kathy Griffin’s apology because we all know that her tears were fake. No one likes loss of personal revenue or income, not even a dingbat like her.

    Oh, this is a story about Bill Maher? Ok, his apology should be good enough. He’s a guru to the idiots and as such his free pass is valid anywhere. At least he didn’t insult an Gypsies, the outcasts of Europe.

  44. piscean2014 says:

    Typical liberal; blurting out their typical emotionally festered drivel and then having to come back to apologize. If they ever BOTHERED to think about WHY the majority of LEGAL voters in this country had voted for such a significant change, they wouldn’t be having to make such asses of themselves …… again.

  45. Newshound says:

    Typical. He isn’t sorry about what he said, he’s just scared of losing his job.

    • Jason Brown says:

      I am a black guy in London.
      I saw it and thought it was funny…
      My white South African girlfriend thought it was hilarious

      • Newshound says:

        Of course – when Leftists do it, it’s all in good fun. No big deal. Hilarious. But if a conservative/republican does anything similar? Ooooh, it’s because they’re racists, nazis and demons and they should be fired, mobbed, attacked and thrown in jail….

  46. Mainely Doc says:

    So typical.. he labels others as racist.. yet gives himslef a pass, because, “I’m coool.” I’m not like them.” “My best friend growing up was black.”

  47. 1953mgtd says:

    Why is it that a left wing jerk like Maher, or Griffin or any of the other clowns – and they do really say some really offensive things – are allowed to walk if they make the standard apology.Perhaps they should not be punished for saying what they really think. They should be punished for the blatant hypocrisy of building an edifice of Political Correctness for everyone else – and then ignoring it for themselves.
    Smug, Condescending, Arrogant, Self-impressed dirtbags.

  48. Fiona says:

    It was a joke in which Bill assumed the persona of an African American using sarcasm to differentiate between two types of slaves and contempt for the practice of slavery.

    • Gene says:

      Tell us something we don’t know…Duhhhh

    • Newshound says:

      Wheras, if Romney once went jogging over 20 years ago, near a hiking trail, where a reporter currently “discovered” an overturned boulder that had a racist word on it? Oh that means he must have painted it himself and he’s a KKK member because of that.

      Sure, when Leftists do it? Oh they’re only joking. It’s no big deal, they didn’t really “mean it”. It’s funny! Hilarious! All in good fun!

      Try being a republican and that’s your reasoning….

  49. Sherman says:

    It happens over and over and over…

    … that feeling of “progressive” moral certitude” leaves them convinced that their “evolved sensibilities” render them incapable ever doing wrong… so they just let it rip.

    One of THE greatest acts of human arrogance.

    Congratulations, once again.

  50. freeland_dave says:

    Apologies are not accepted. You knew what you were doing when you did it and you knew it was wrong when you did it. Your stunt was intentional, not accidental and now, like Kathy Griffin, you are attempting to paint yourself as a victim in the hopes that HBO doesn’t fire your sorry butt, which if they were half the organization they claim to be they would do in a heartbeat.

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