Bill Maher came back on air after his controversial use of the N-word during an interview Nebraska senator Ben Sasse had him in the hot seat.
“For black folks, that word, I don’t care who you are, has caused pain,” Maher said. “It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t said in malice, if it brought back pain to people, and that’s why I apologized freely and I reiterate it tonight. That’s sincere. I’m not that big of an a**hole.”
The conversation was a teachable moment from Maher, and fittingly Professor Michael Eric Dyson was there to shed some light on the issue. Professor Dyson, who is a friend of Maher’s, asked the host to check his “unconscious white privilege.”
In the following segment, Ice Cube hit the panel and got straight to business. “I love your show, but you been bucking up that line a little bit. You got a lot of black jokes… Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker.”
Cube then suggested that Maher may have gotten too comfortable because of his close ties to the Black communit. “I accept your apology, but I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche, because I think there are a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they a little too familiar… or is guys who had a black girlfriend or two that made them some Kool-Aid now and then think they can cross the line, and they can’t.”
Guest Symone Sanders also made a strong point in defense of Black women. “That was like a slap in the face to black America,” she said. “Particularly black women. You wouldn’t have been in the house, you’d have been a slave master,” she says of the joke.
What do you think of the conversation? Check out the interviews above and comment below.