Reaffirming his support of Bill Maher in the wake of the comic’s n-word controversy, scholar Michael Eric Dyson is replacing Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) as a guest on “Real Time” Friday, June 9.
Dyson backed Maher as an “ally to Black people” after Maher joked with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that he wouldn’t work in the fields with him because “I’m a house n—–.”
“I’m very emotional about this,” Dyson said in a statement on Twitter Saturday, June 3. “I love Bill Maher. He is my dear friend. But, as I’ve said through the years, the n-word should be reserved for Black use. Period.”
— Michael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson) June 3, 2017
Franken explained his decision to ditch the show on which he was scheduled to appear with former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), journalist David Gregory, CNN political commentator Symone Sanders and rapper Ice Cube, who reportedly wants to discuss Maher’s use of the n-word.
“What Bill Maher said was inappropriate and offensive, which is why [Franken] made the decision not to appear on the next episode of ‘Real Time,'” a spokesperson said in a Monday, June 5, statement to The New York Times. “He was glad to see Bill, who the senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment.”
Sanders, however, welcomes the chance to have a talk about last week’s controversy and makes it clear using the n-word and joking about slavery is off limits.
“I thought Maher’s comment, Ben Sasse’s reaction and the crowd’s applause were all equally distasteful, inappropriate and offensive. I am glad Maher, too, recognized as such and issued an apology,” Sanders said in an email to The Huffington Post. “I look forward to a dialogue about it and other pressing issues of the week on Friday.
“The n-word is not a joke to be thrown about and it is never OK to make light of slavery and/or the experiences of enslaved people.”