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Bill Maher has come under fire for his use of a racial slur on Friday night’s episode of Real Time, when he responded to Sen. Ben Sasse’s question, “Would you like to come work in the field with us?” by saying, “Work in the fields? Senator, I am a house n—er.”
The Real Time host had previously used the word on Larry King’s CNN show in 2010. Maher said the word while discussing Newt Gingrich’s comments that former President Barack Obama held a “Kenyan anti-colonial worldview.” Maher told King, “Kenyan, of course, was code for n—er.”
Maher is not the first white comedian to use the word, though, as footage of many others using the word have surfaced.
Comedian Louis C.K., appearing on the Opie and Anthony radio program in 2011, discussed the origin of the N-word with late comic Patrice O’Neal. After O’Neal described the origin of another racial slur, C.K. asked, “Do you know where the word n—er comes from? There was some black guy being a n—er, so they called him a n—er. He was being a real n—er, and that’s where it stared.”
O’Neal laughed at C.K.’s comments.
Other comics who have used the word publicly include Artie Lange, David Cross, Carlos Mencia, Gilbert Gottfried, George Carlin and more, as well as musicians such as Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello.
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