Bill Maher, whose use of the n-word sparked controversy last week, apologized on Friday’s episode Real Time.

“I did a bad thing. For black folks, that word, I don’t care who you are, has caused pain,” Maher said. “It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t said in malice, if it brought back pain to people, and that’s why I apologized freely and I reiterate it tonight. That’s sincere. I’m not that big of an asshole.”

Rapper and actor Ice Cube, who appeared on the show, criticized Maher for his joke:

“I knew you were gonna f— up sooner or later. I love your show, you got a great show, but you’ve been bucking up against that line a little bit. You’ve got a lot of black jokes. Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker.”

Maher’s latest apology came during a conversation with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, who “schooled” Maher over the host’s use of the racial slur.

“We’re all evolving. We’re all who we are,” Maher said. “By the way, this happened once. A guy said a weird thing, I made a bad joke. Yes, it was wrong and I own up to that. But it’s not like I made a career of this… It happened, and it was wrong. People make mistakes, we’re all sinners.”

Maher added, “I just don’t want to pretend this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing. Comedians are a special kind of monkey.” The host also joked that Kathy Griffin “owes me a fruit basket” for stealing the show with her own controversy.

You can watch Maher’s apology here:




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