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Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has canceled his upcoming Friday appearance on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. Franken’s cancellation is the latest in backlash after Maher joked he was a “house n—er” while having a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) when he asked Maher if he would like to come “work in the fields” with him.
“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,” a spokesperson for Franken said Monday in a statement to HuffPost. “He was glad to see Bill, who the Senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment.”
Maher has since apologized for his use of the word, saying it “was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry.” HBO said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that Maher’s use of the word was “completely inexcusable.”
A rep for HBO said that a lineup of appearances for Real Time has not been finalized and a replacement guest will be booked.
Franken is currently in the middle of a media tour for his latest book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.
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