During a sit-down interview with Republican Senator Ben Sasse, Maher responded to a cheeky dig by the Nebraska congressman (“We’d love to have you work in the fields with us”) by quipping, “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n---er.”
Maher’s use of the N-word prompted many to call for his resignation, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and Chance the Rapper, while the Rev. Al Sharpton dug up an old clip of Maher using the N-word indiscriminately. The situation got so precarious that the typically unapologetic comic issued a very rare apology: “Friday nights are always my worst nights of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn't have said on my live show,” he wrote. “Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and I’m very sorry.”
Well, get ready for another apology.
On Friday night’s Real Time, after mocking ex-Starbucks CEO and presidential hopeful Howard Schultz (“a giant asshole”) and President Trump (“he knows nothing about black people”), Maher welcomed Will Hurd, a Republican congressman representing Texas’ 23rd District, onto the program.
Following some back and forth about the border wall, which Rep. Hurd—who represents “more border than any part of Congress”—isn’t a fan of, Maher asked Hurd, who is black, why he’s a Republican.
“I’m a Republican because I believe in limited government,” Hurd responded.
“But they don’t do that,” interrupted Maher. “I’m a Republican because I believe in the rule of law. I’m a Republican because I believe in economic opportunity,” Hurd continued.
“They don’t do that either,” Maher interrupted again.
“I’m just asking why you’re a Republican?” he pressed. “Because they’re not good at the debt, that was their big thing. You said limited government, they don’t do that. They took over the Congress in 2011 and they raised the debt a trillion dollars a year. They’re not good at national defense—the president’s a traitor. What’s in it for you? What is in the Republican Party for you? You were in the CIA!”
With that, Hurd explained, “I was in the CIA for almost a decade. I was the dude in the back alleys at four o’clock in the morning collecting intelligence on threats to the homeland.”
“That’s where you’d collect it, huh? Wow,” shot back Maher. “By the Popeyes Chicken?”
The usually-game crowd elicited a groan, and Maher flashed an embarrassed look, as if he knew he’d screwed up… yet again... on the first day of Black History Month.