The tasteless joke only mustered uncomfortable laughs from the audience, followed by backlash from viewers. The joke was shocking to just about everyone but Black Twitter, who was there to remind us that Maher has been saying offensive things like this for years now.
In a statement to Hollywood Reporter, HBO addressed the issue. “Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless. We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.” Senator Sasse also felt he had some apologizing to do, and hopped on Twitter to confess that he should have stood up to Maher for making such an offensive joke.
“I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines,” Sasse tweets. “But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.”
Am walking off a redeye from LAX. 3 reflections on @billmaher 1. I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines.