(RNN) – Social media is expressing outrage after Bill Maher used the n-word during an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) on “Real Time with Bill Maher”
He used the racial slur during Friday night’s episode and shortly after followed with “it’s a joke.”
The two were discussing the differences in adolescence and adulthood with Maher taking issue with some adult Halloween costumes he considered inappropriate. Sasse said people don’t dress like that in Nebraska, and Maher joked about needing to visit.
In a light-hearted exchange, Sasse offered a welcome and an offer to “work in the fields.” Maher said, “works in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n—–” and then called it a joke.
People have responded via social media with disapproval and some, like Black Lives Matter leader Deray McKesson, are calling for his job.
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 3, 2017
Others have also taken issue with Sasse for not denouncing the comment during his appearance.
Maher has not yet responded. Sasse took to Twitter and defended the First Amendment and Maher’s role as a comedian, but said he wished he had responded in the moment with a rebuke of the term itself.
Sasse called himself a “First Amendment absolutist” and said comedians have “latitude to cross hard lines” but that there has to be responsibility and that his lack of an immediate response “wasn’t good enough.”
Sasse called the n-word “an attack on universal human dignity.”
“…The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don’t use it.” https://t.co/kEZm5vPFHK
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017
Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.