Bill Maher Apologizes During His First Appearance After Racial Slur On ‘Real Time’

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Real Time Apologies

June 10th, 2017 – Bill Maher walked onto his Real Time stage last night, but instead of simply jokes he had apologies to tell. The host addressed his controversy in a roundabout way during his opening monologue by saying “Thank you for letting a sinner in your midst.” But it was during his first segment with author Michael Eric Dyson that his joking use of the n-word last week was put out in the open.

Dyson, an African American Georgetown professor who writes about racial issues, was asked by Maher to “school” him because he “did a bad thing.” He asked Maher why he was willing to apologize this time when, in the past, he had been a crusader for the left not caving into political correctness.

“There is a lot of bullshit apologizing in America, and I am against that…but when it’s appropriate, and this was appropriate,” he started. “For black folks, that word, I don’t care who you are, has caused pain. I’m not here to do that. Now the guy who was here; it’s not his fault. I feel bad about him – the senator. It’s all on me. But he said a weird thing; the comic mind goes to a weird place sometimes. But 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.”

Dyson acknowledged that he’s getting pushback from some people in the black community for coming on the show and thinking Maher would be given a pass. He continued to explain to Maher that a lot of people have described the incident last week as an “unconscious reflex of white privilege.”

Maher acknowledged the points Dyson was making but emphasized again that he wanted this to be recognized as a mistake made by a comedian.

“I just don’t wanna pretend this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing. Comedians are a special kind of monkey. We are a trained thing that tries to get a laugh…It’s like always go. We want to make those people laugh. And sometimes we transgress a sensitivity point.”

Maher continued on by paralleling his mistake with that of fellow comedian Kathy Griffin’s severed Trump head mistake. He paused to jokingly say that she owes him a fruit basket for getting her off the front page.

While Senator Al Franken decided to cancel after the incident, activist Symone Sanders and rapper Ice Cube showed up to the panel and further pushed Maher to use this as a teaching moment about why he crossed the line in this way.

“I love your show, but you been bucking up that line a little bit,” Ice Cube told Maher. “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.”

“This, to me, is a political show, and I think you just have to not step on some of the political messages that you’re saying with a joke. Because some things just ain’t funny,” he added.

Do you think Bill Maher handled his first show back appropriately? Do comedians cross the line too frequently because of a certain type of privilege?

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118 thoughts on “Bill Maher Apologizes During His First Appearance After Racial Slur On ‘Real Time’

  1. Get over it people. It’s a word. It has not the meaning you give it power with. The original, and actual, definition is a stupid, ignorant person. It’s a word. Let’s stop being kindergarteners and move on.

  2. This episode of preaching-to-the-choir became cringe worthy the moment Ice Cube reduced Bill Maher’s character to that, of a redneck truck driver.

    Because only a true racist/redneck spends a lifetime defending minorities and giving a voice to the overall marginalized.
    Not to mention, contribute a whopping one million dollars the the 2012 re-election PAC of a black guy with a Muslim name.

    Lets talk about freedom of speech, shall we?
    Absolutely no one has the right to issue limitations of speech to anyone under the Constitution.

    Was Bill’s joke tasteless, sure, but he never incited violence against any group(s) nor persons. Period.

    Ice Cube offered no real intelligence on the subject, just the typical victim position.

    Just keep in mind, that the same pack of mindless zombie SJW’s that turned on Bill Maher, are the same pack of wolves that wouldn’t think twice about turning on Ice Cube at any given verbal offence.

    1. I’m from Southern West Virginia, truck drivers like coal miners, are a dime a dozen.
      A few of my neighbors are truckers, but admittedly, I wouldn’t classify any of them as “redneck truck drivers” as there is a difference.

      Lets be honest here, Ice Cube wouldn’t know the difference.

      Ice Cube exposed his sensitivities by comparing a Liberal comedian with the net worth of 100 million from California (not to mention an atheist) to that of a typical truck driver with a racist personality that leans heavily towards religion because that, is your typical red neck truck driver, to which Bill Maher (nor myself) has absolutely nothing in common with.

      Isn’t it funny, how Ice Cube of whom has made a career (and personal wealth) of being the least “politically correct” among us, but has suddenly assumed the position of word police?!

      My push back: Fuck the word police! ?

  3. I don’t give a shit about what anyone says really, as long as it isn’t a legitimate threat. People should be able to say anything, other than legit threats, and deal with the social consequences. As long as the government doesn’t have the power to get involved over words (other than legit threats) them all is well with freedom of speech.

  4. N-word! is that nigger og negro? are they considred the same in the US?

    also, its a pretty common word in music/films etc. isent it racist to claim its racial exclusive word – just like bus seat exclusively for one race is racist?

  5. I live in a rural community there are white and hispanic kids walking around here singing hip hop with the word nigga , acting like they are in the hood . So if these kids go into the city singing my nigga do they get their ass kicked because theyre not black . Good black leaders gave their lives to end these horrible words of hate . As far as using it as a term of endearment for black people only thats rediculas , hispanics dont use the word spick.

  6. Racism is thick in the southern states, where people actually use it in hate towards black people. But let’s demonize this comedian from California, that will make it all go away.

    1. I’m from the south and It’s not used here for hate . Matter fact I don’t here it around here at all . Are you from the south ? I am

  7. Hypocrisy personified. He should stick to be a “lurker” at the Playboy Mansion and stop being so Fucking Politically correct. The word is used as a non racial term around the world with absolutely no connotation of racial slander. Grow a pair Bill…

  8. Well, if he wanted to make a racial joke, at least use the old joke ” name something you wouldn’t find in a black persons apartment. ” At least it would have been funny and real.

  9. Years ago I used to be a correctional officer and that is the only word that blacks use when talking to each other , I heard it probably ten thousand times a day so I don’t understand why they get so mad for white people to say it when they say it

    1. Ok. Think of the name that your wife calls you during sex…now then, would you be cool with her calling every man she meets that same name? No? Exactly.

    2. Melissa Jane Ries-Lasseter read real history the first, and largest, slave owner was a black man who went to the courts and demanded slavery be legal. Moron.

    3. Bahahah open a history book, 99.9% leave out that a black man was the first slave owner who demanded the courts make it legal, and that more Caucasian Irish were slaves than blacks.

    4. Also history doesn’t matter these days we’re doing away with history remember we’re taking down all the statues problem is I don’t see it being done 50/50 they need to take down all the Martin Luther King statues and signs and street signs and make everything Fair

  10. Bill maher sacrifices his integrity and publically chastises himself for the thought police. There there Bill. Its all okay. You have bent over to political correctness and taken It deep like a real champ. the last vestiges of integrity have flown from this ship. Bye bye

  11. Funny how people think the word “nigger” is relative to a single race Newsflash peoples it’s not I’ve met more white ones than black ones! Some parents have pimped children out for meth! That’s a good adjective for any color that would do that! Also parents that do drugs and DONT WORK, leave a child in a hot car, burn them with cigarettes, molest them, and so much worse that’s your definition of a NIGGER it does not matter what goddamn color you are! Stop fucking crying about it people gonna use it and if it offends you and you getting mad about it, it objectifies you don’t be so damn fragile ❄️

    1. Exactly. If they want equality, then either all should apologize or none. Regardless of race. Stigmatizing a word and limiting its use based on the amount of melanin in your skin is racist and contributes to the problem

  12. I don’t care for the word but I also think that if you want to put demands and expectations on others you should have the intellectual consistency to lead by example. No one person owns any part of language outright and no one person has the right to dictate what comes out of another’s mouth, and if words turn you into such a whiny little bitch you’re the last person who should imply another is fragile.

  13. I’m offended by the fact that he uses the ‘n word” himself. I’m offended by the fact the ghetto life is glamorized by people like him when in reality it’s a toxic life to live. Damn yall are some sheep. Quit using the word and thinking its okay for you to do so because you’re black but complain when a white person sais it.

  14. It’s racist perceptions to think that the color of ones skin changes the intent of a word… you think a black guy has never used the n word in anger or to talk down about another black guy?… exactly.. So either no one uses it, or stop crying.

  15. I think white people should hijack the word nigger. And they should use it every dam day constantly until it becomes so stupid that it becomes a gay trend like all the other stupid words that have come and gone and people move on to something else. It is racist to say a word can only be used if you have the right skin color.

    1. It shouldn’t offend alot of people. But if you watch our politics here in US you see a bunch of whiny ass babies that live to be offended. That’s why I’m thinking crackers could hijack the word,over use it to the point it becomes mundane and then it will get ignored. I think it’s crazy that we have black comedians that basically do nothing but get on stage and yell nigger this and nigger that and everyone claps but a white guy says it and it’s the only story in the news for a week

    2. I thought the wiggers already hijacked that word in the late 90s early 2000s over there hahahahahaha and the Hispanic’s not to mention the behind door gangsta white families hahhhahahaha

    3. Around here all I heard from the wiggers was rap music and they called everybody holmes. And they magically got a ghetto accent from somewhere lol.

    4. How do you hijack a term you invented for the express purpose of disparaging an entire race to begin with? I use the global white person “you”, not the personal “you”. It was already used daily the way you describe, that’s why it’s offensive to begin with. It’s not offensive when they use it because they’re taking control of a word used to dehumanize them. Not a difficult concept to grasp.

    5. You hijack it by using it constantly in a meaningless manner. Much like the liberals are doing by saying everything they don’t like is racist. Cry wolf everyday and before long nobody gives a dam. Words only have power over weak individuals. Jase Clarkson are you asking to punch me or the other commenter?

  16. What if he would have been a Republican? Donald Trump never said anything racist and he has the label. Bill has referred to Trump as a racist and pulls this. It all depends what side you are on and how it is portrayed by the media. The word means nothing to me as if it were really that offensive to blacks, they would not listen to rap music. It’s a word and if a black guy can say it, then a white guy can say it. It would be racist to tell someone they can’t say a word because of the color of their skin. People are ridiculous anymore.

    1. Trump refused to rent to black people in the 70s. He implied that the majority of undocumented immigrants from Mexico were rapists and drug dealers. Bill said a word in reference to himself.

    2. Certain people get a free pass with the media.
      Bill maher called sarah palin a cunt when she was running for vp. It was “funny”
      Sid miller calls clinton a cunt its offensive and degrading to women.
      In that instance theres no difference except the canidate they support.
      Who really cares about trump he is like all other presidents going to fuck you in some way.

  17. Ice Cube was really cool about it. He just used 3 minutes to explain what his problem with the word was. All the headlines over this make it sound like Ice Cube went off on Bill and that’s not at all what happened

    1. When they are told to not use a word, while listening to black folks saying it CONSTANTLY…
      Than yea, we are gonna call you on your bullshit… either no one says it, or stop crying…

    1. I don’t think any race can co-op a word in a society with freedom of speech. I hear it used more as an adjective than a noun, common among alot of people I work with and go to school with. Things like Tupac and the boondocks have normalised it to me anyway. I think it’s just so much rarer for a lefty to say something off. I mean, look at fox news. Huge media double standard.

    2. Who cares honestly if blacks call each other nigger or nigga or whatever…literally there’s more important shit happening all over the world than Maher offending sensitive ass people.

    3. Agreed, let people say what they want, doesn’t change or effect my life in any meaningful way. People want to use derogatory and hateful speech against each other, more power to you. Meanwhile, going on with my life.

    4. Cameron Arvin. Context means a lot. I personally don’t have a problem with what he said. It wasn’t directed at anyone to demean them. But I don’t speak for every black person

    5. Almost Everyone is offended by literally anything these days. Fuck em. I’ve got a whole tray of shit sandwiches to go around. Step right up. Lol

    6. A few? Lol. That shit is all over media, social media and out on the streets. The time I spent in Baltimore? I heard more black guys call each other that name than I EVER heard white people saying it out loud in the Deep South. Your argument is invalid and numbingly stupid.

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