— Bill Maher (@billmaher) June 10, 2017
Bill Maher was the center of attention on the Friday night broadcast of “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The political commentator and comedian could not avoid addressing his reference to a being a “house n—–” during a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) last week. The comment spurred numerous negative comments, including Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper calling on HBO to drop Maher’s show.
Maher did have his supporters like scholar Michael Eric Dyson, who replaced Sen. Al Franken after he backed out following the controversy. Dyson provided some lessons for Maher but handled the comedian with kid gloves. Ice Cube, who was already scheduled to appear to promote his album, insisted he would confront Maher about his use of the derogatory term. And confront him he did. Cube spent over two minutes explaining to a seemingly uninterested Maher about the pain behind the word.
“A word is a weapon or a tool, and that word has been used as a weapon byy white people” Ice Cube said. “That’s our word now and you can’t have it back.”
Maher apologized a few times in the segment, seemingly recognizing and acknowledging the hurt he caused “For black folks, that word — I don’t care who you are — has caused pain,” he said. “I’m not here to do that. … It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t said in malice; it wasn’t. It brought back pain to people.”
However, his defensive posturing to Ice Cube’s comment was not lost on viewers, who quickly called him out.
Not just "I already said sorry" but Maher quite defensively said there was nothing more he could do than say sorry. Lame.
— KittensAndUnicorns (@kanduatgawker) June 10, 2017
And of course what he can do is consider why that word was so easy for him to say. He can listen. He can stop being defensive. Otherwise…
— Leslie Streeter (@LeslieStreeter) June 10, 2017
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) June 10, 2017
He’s still so defensive and fragile re his racist bullshit. Ice Cube is doing you a favor being on your show rn, maybe shut up and listen
— Amy (@clearlygifted) June 10, 2017
Maher was turning red. He should have. He blamed it on being ‘white.’
— Kari Hope (@TyJuanOn) June 10, 2017
He should be fired. He thinks apologies will make it better. His won’t. This is not his first offense
— Cynthia Hunt (@Cyndy2014) June 10, 2017
Symone Sanders, a Democratic strategist and former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders, joined in to bring a “little perspective” …
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) June 10, 2017
… but viewers still weren’t convinced Maher got the point.
After everyone’s soliloquies, he still didn’t seem to “get it”, that his behavior informs others & that right now, we’re in a delicate and
— Andy Liebling (@andrebretonic) June 10, 2017
?You were so so articulate and powerful. It disgusted me that he turned his back on you without saying a word.
— RB (@rbsmashp) June 10, 2017
Enjoyed your response but Mather was completely dismissive of you. White fragility on peak. Looking hella annoyed?
— butterfly lover (@EMOD72) June 10, 2017