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TV

Bill Maher Apologizes for Using the N-word Live on Air: ‘The Word Is Offensive and I Regret Saying It’

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WARNING: This post contains graphic language.

Bill Maher has issued an apology after he said the N-word during a conversation with Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse on Friday night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.

“Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show,” the comedian said in a statement on Saturday. “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 am very sorry.”

Hours earlier, HBO issued a statement of their own, vowing to cut out the word in subsequent airings of the show.

“Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless,” the network said in a statement to PEOPLE. “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.”

During the interview on Friday Maher, 61, sparked outrage when he responded to Sasse’s question, “Would you like to come work in the field with us?” with the N-word.

“Work in the fields?” Maher asked. “Senator, I’m a house n—–.” (The offensive term refers to African American slaves who were forced to work in the homes of plantation owners versus being forced to do agricultural work.)

Sasse, who looked slightly taken aback by the comment, lightly chuckled but did not comment on the choice word.

Maher told the audience it was a joke, but people were quick to take to Twitter to address the late-night veteran’s comment.

Chance the Rapper and Nick Cannon also spoke out against Maher’s comment, with Chance calling on HBO to pull Maher’s show off the air entirely.

Maher’s faux pas comes after Kathy Griffin acknowledged Tuesday that she “crossed the line” by posing for a photo with a replica of President Donald Trump‘s bloodied, decapitated head in her hand.

“I’m a comic. I crossed the line, I moved the line and then I crossed the line,” Griffin, 56, said in a video posted on Twitter. “I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people, it wasn’t funny.”

RELATED VIDEO: Kathy Griffin Fired from CNN New Year’s Eve Gig Following Presidential Decapitation Photo Scandal

 

Griffin was fired by CNN from her New Year’s Eve special job the day after her apology. She shared the gig with longtime friend and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

On Friday, the comedian appeared in a press conference, accusing Trump and his family of “bullying” her and “trying to ruin my life forever.”