Comedian and television host Bill Maher has been under fire recently for his use of the N-word during his HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher last Friday on June 2nd. Comedians have been known to commonly push boundaries when telling jokes, but when does a joke go too far?
Fellow comedian Kevin Hart was among the many people who found Maher’s use of the word in poor taste. Hart stated that even though he does not believe that Maher is a racist because of several occasions when he has come to support the black community, he still believes that Maher’s use of the word was inexcusable and “bad judgment.” “It’s inappropriate and it’s not right, to say it the way you said it as comfortable as you said it in a joking form, you’re wrong. Granted, you can issue all the apologies you want…you know he says it around friends. It’s not something that he’s going to say anymore. But for you to say it on your platform, that’s tacky,” Hart commented.
Maher made the comment using the N-word during a segment on his HBO show with Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, when Sasse asked Maher, “ Would you like to come work in the field with us?” to which Maher responded: “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n***er.” The comment was immediately met with backlash not only from Kevin Hart but by other celebrities such as Al Sharpton, Chance The Rapper, Orlando Jones, and even the women on The View.
Maher has since apologized for his use of the word lamenting his use of the offensive word. HBO has even stated that Maher’s use of the word was, “completely inexcusable” and are editing out Maher’s use of the word for future airings of his show. Maher isn’t the only celebrity who has stirred major controversy recently over the use of offensive language and imagery, comedian Kathy Griffin was also recently under fire because of a video she made holding up a fake severed and bloody head of Donald Trump that sparked major controversy. Comedians do often push the boundaries of society when it comes to telling jokes, however, perhaps Maher’s use of the N-word and Griffin’s grotesque video show that, that boundary isn’t always meant to be crossed. Hopefully comedians and celebrates everywhere will learn from the mistakes of their peers and think before trying to get a few laughs.
Feature Image via flickr/celebrityabc