Comedian Bill Maher is under fire on social media after using a taboo racial slur during his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday night.
Maher used the racial epithet during an interview with Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who was promoting his book, “The Vanishing American Adult,” according to CNN.
During the interview, Sasse joked with the comedian after Maher said he needed to get to Nebraska more.
“You’re welcome. We’d love to have you work in the fields with us,” Sasse said.
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“Work in the fields?” Maher said. “Senator, I’m a house (n-word). No, it’s a joke.”
Sasse didn’t respond to Maher’s comment during the interview, but later took to Twitter condemn it.
“I’m a First Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines,” Sasse said in the tweet. “But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.”
HBO released a statement saying that the epithet would be removed from future broadcasts, although it wasn’t bleeped out when the episode was rebroadcast at midnight, according to the New York Times.