HBO has revealed that the Emmy-award winning host of their longest-running late-night program is not going anywhere, despite three days of social media outrage and calls for the network to fire him after her used the phrase ‘house n*****’ on Friday.
Maher will instead be back on set this Friday for the normally scheduled taping of ‘Real Time’ an HBO executive confirmed to DailyMail.com.
The outspoken 61-year-old has not yet commented on the network’s decision to keep him on, having done his best to keep a low profile in the wake of the incident.
Chance the Rappper was one of the first to comment on the situation, writing on Twitter early Saturday: ‘Please @HBO Do Not Air Another Episode Of Real Time With Bill Maher.’
The host’s good friend, comedian-turned-politician Al Franken, announced on Monday that he will not be appearing on the show.
‘Senator Franken believes that what Bill Maher said was inappropriate and offensive, which is why he made the decision not to appear on the next episode of “Real Time,”‘ said Franken’s office in a statement on Monday.
‘He was glad to see Bill, who the Senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment.’
TMZ was the first to report that Maher would be returning to work on Friday.
HBO has decided however to remove the racial slur from the episode so that it will not seen in any subsequent airings, with the phrase coming just minutes into the program.
The men argued a bit and chatted as is standard custom, but then things took a turn following a rather innocuous comment.
At one point during their exchange, Senator Sasse invited Maher back to his home state by saying: ‘We’d love to have you work in the fields with us.’
Maher immediately fired back: ‘Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n*****.’
The backlash was quick, with many in disbelief that Maher would utter such a pejorative term in the middle of his show.
In the studio, there were a few laughs but mostly groans from the audience, while Senator Sasse appeared incredibly uncomfortable.
Twitter meanwhile erupted as many began to attack Maher and the network, just four days after social media users launched what looked to be a successful campaign to have comedian Kathy Griffin fired from CNN.
Senator Sasse was the first to apologize for the exchange once the fallout began over the weekend, releasing a statement via a Twitter thread on his personal account.
‘Am walking off a redeye from LAX. 3 reflections on @billmaher 1. I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines,’ began Senator Sasse.
‘But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.’
He then closed out by stating: ‘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.’