Comic Bill Maher stirred controversy and calls for his dismissal after using the N-word during Friday's broadcast of "Real Time," his HBO talk show.
The outspoken pundit uttered the term during a conversation with US Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who subsequently addressed the matter in a series of tweets:
The use of the slur was both jarring and confounding, coming as Maher and Sasse were exchanging some genial pleasantries. Maher said he'd like to visit Nebraska and the senator said he's welcome any time.
"We'd love to have you work in the fields with us," Sasse responded, a reference to his state's agriculture.
"Work in the fields?" Maher said, wincing. "Senator, I'm a house (N-word)."
Sasse did not respond immediately.
Calls for Maher to be fired followed the show:
Here's a quick Maher primer:
[cmg_anvato video= "3914628"]
The official Twitter accounts for HBO and "Real Time" have posted several clips from last night's show such as the one below, but have not yet addressed Maher's use of the racial term.
It's the second major stir caused by a comedian this week. Earlier, Kathy Griffin posted, then deleted and apologized for images showing her with a prop of a decapitated head in President Donald Trump's image . CNN swiftly cut ties with her - she had been part of its New Year's Eve coverage in the past.
Author and commentator Eric Schiffer, CEO of ReputationManagementConsultants.com , called the photo “a desperate attempt to stay relevant when she didn’t need it.”
“Griffin’s harrowing picture of Trump’s decapitated head might cost her severely,” he noted. “You’ll probably see more firms cut ties. Griffin’s apology was a call of mercy to save her head, considering Democrats like Chelsea Clinton and friend Anderson Cooper also condemned her unhinged photo. Griffin may have done it for a laugh and attention, but what she got was a thrashing body blow from America. Griffin’s move did what most politicians dream: She united the American people for a flickering and fleeting moment.”
Some Twitter users have conflated the two controversies:
And some linked in golfer Tiger Woods, who was arrested on DUI charges a few days ago :