UNITED STATES—Last week, Kathy Griffin was the comic who was the talk of town, but this week things have shifted to comic Bill Maher. Now, Maher has done something that has plenty of people talking, yet, the backlash for his actions seems quite tame considering what Griffin did in my personal opinion. Making threats to the President of the United States is not funny, but I do believe Griffin did not REALLY intend on acting out on it.
However, Maher decided to utter a word on his HBO series “Real Time with Bill Maher” during Friday’s episode that left a lot of people in uproar and I mean a lot of people. Why were things so heated? Maher decided to utter the N-word while having a conversation with Senator Ben Sasse. During their conversation, Maher decided to response to Sasse remark by using the term ‘house n****r.’
Like, hold it stop, wait a minute. Did Maher seriously just say that? Like this is LIVE TV, everyone heard what this guy just said, Sen. Sasse looked stunned, Maher seemed comfortable and the audience laughed as if they knew what was taking place. STOP: we have a major problem here. What Maher said was NOT acceptable and the fact that he hasn’t received more backlash for his choice of words is beyond alarming to me. Griffin was thrown to the coals last week for her actions, and it seems like Maher is getting a slap on the hand for utilizing, quite frankly a demoralizing, disturbing and disgusting racial slur.
Now we can go back and forth for weeks, months possible years on the issue of the N-word people. And I plan to comprise a 3-part column discussing the complexity surrounding that controversial word. My biggest concern is that Maher didn’t seem the least bit bothered with utilizing the terminology, until the uproar exploded over the internet. That soon led to Maher issuing an apology, noting his reflection on things he said on Friday. Hmm, I’m guessing Maher apologized because you knew you were in deep, hot, scorching water and this is one scandal that you cannot sweep under the rug.
Senator Al Fraken has already pulled out of an appearance on Maher’s show this week, and I’m guessing a few more celebrities or politicians slated to appear on the series might soon follow suit. However, TMZ reported that actor Ice Cube is still expected to appear on the show this week, and that is a conversation I’m DYING to see. Ice Cube going toe-to-toe with Maher about his use of the N-word, that will be good TV, and to be honest I’d like to see Maher squirm a bit. Maher without a doubt will have to deliver a public monologue, which I’m certain will take place sometime during his next show to acknowledge what has transpired and how he feels about the situation.
Will it be genuine, not certain, we’ll have to hear Maher speak and really ‘listen’ to what is being said. This guy has not been fired by HBO, none of his comedy shows has been canceled and it raises a question to me as to why not. This guy used a word that has a lot of hatred and evil tied to it on national TV, live. And it was not like an oops moment where he realized immediately after it was said it was wrong, it took the world to explode before any action was taken to acknowledge the issue at hand.
Simply put the N-word is off limits, especially to those who are not African-American. For those wondering why, tune into my column next week, where we tackle the issue of the N-word and its history. It’s long overdue that a history lesson should be delivered as to why this controversial word is so controversial and those who DON’T understand the complexity of the term get educated on it, and why its usage should be off limits!