Maher had Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on as they discussed various issues and the senator invited him to visit his state.
"We'd love to have you work in the fields with us," Sasse joked.
Maher, always the kidder, replied, "Work in the fields? Senator, I'm a house n****r."
Some in his audience groaned, and the mentally challenged remainder clapped. Maher quickly responded, "No, it's a joke."
Which means, as far as Maher is concerned, racist jokes are acceptable as long as they're just jokes.
Senator Sasse didn't address the comment--he obviously didn't find it funny or tasteful--and the conversation moved to a different subject. But there are those on social media who constantly scour the internet in order to find something, anything they can attack with their own moral superiority, and, of course, they condemned Sasse for not condemning Maher.
I imagine Sasse felt like any guest in a home would feel when a disgusting remark is made by the host--surprised and wondering what to do about it.
Maybe he should have gotten up and left--it would have made Maher look very small, as he should. But I suspect Sasse was at a momentary loss to decide an action and he decided it best to remain mute on the racist comment.
HBO called Maher's use of a racist slur "inexcusable." That means they will not excuse it, but of course we know they will. Maher brings them too much money to do anything about it.
"Bill Maher's comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless," HBO officials said to the Hollywood Reporter. "We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show."
But then The New York Times reported that the word wasn't removed from HBO's rebroadcast at midnight, so maybe they forgot to do it.
Deray Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter activist of a group equally hateful of white people tweeted, "But really, @BillMaher has to go. There are no explanations that make this acceptable."
Free speech is not a crime, but like other things we do, it has consequences. If HBO believes that having a racist spout that garbage is unacceptable but still play the same scene at midnight after saying they wouldn't, then they are complicit in the racism.
Maher has since apologized for his racist remark
"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."At least he didn't try blaming it on President Trump and "the negatively charged racial atmosphere he creates, and yadda, yadda, yadda."
But Maher isn't a stranger to tastelessness.
In early May he made comments in an interview with Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine.
"A lot of us thought, 'Oh, Ivanka is gonna be our saving grace.' When [Trump's] about to f**king nuke Finland or something, she's gonna walk into the bedroom and you know . . . Daddy, Daddy. Don't do it, Daddy," he said while he made a crude sexual gesture with his hand.
People on Twitter responded to that en masse. [See below]
I don't advocate firing anyone, but if people stopped watching his licentious and racist garbage, he would have fired himself.