Ice Cube to Maher: Using the n-word wasn't 'cool'

Jay Jacobs
June 12, 2017

You know, it's a word that has been used against us. I'm not talking about you Bill.

Part of the host's penance for casually using a racial slur for the lulz was to sit there while Ice Cube explained to him why Maher did a bad thing. Ben Sasse not-so-sincerely asked the comedian, "Would you like to come work in the field with us?"

Maher gave the senator a unusual look and responded, "Work in the fields? I'm a house n--".

Maher brought up his apology from earlier in the episode, but Cube persisted.

Backlash was immediate, leading Maher to issue out an apology the next day. "I am against that". "That word is like a knife", he said. When his guest facetiously invited him out to Nebraska to "work in the fields", Maher answered, "Work in the fields?" That's why I apologize freely and I reiterate it tonight.

Maher responded to Dyson's teachable moment in saying that we all "make mistakes" as humans. It's been used as a weapon, against us.

"We need you, as an ally", Dyson said at the end of the interview.

Maher agreed but argued back, "It's not like I've made a career of this".

"Comedians are a special kind of monkey", was Maher's follow-up. "We are a trained thing that tries to get a laugh, that's what we do, that's all we are always thinking ... and sometimes we transgress a sensitivity point". While the word and its related thoughts haven't gone away, many have felt emboldened in recent years.

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"Kathy Griffin should not go away", he continued.

"You are used to those cheers", Dyson quipped.

"What [David] understood was that is a line that he can not cross and even his comedy can not cross", Dyson said.

"I did a bad thing", the host said, addressing the backlash he's received since the show aired to guest Michael Eric Dyson. Maher said it himself repeatedly; what else can he do but apologize? Al Franken (D-Minn.) canceled his appearance on the show.

"That's a great place to begin, Bill", Dyson said. You've got a lot of black jokes. "That was like a slap in the face to black America", she said.

"I think there's a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they're a little too familiar". It was wrong and I apologized.

"No I don't", Maher interjects.

"Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker", the rapper responded to Maher's assertion that his black jokes were jokes "against racists". "But the coolest and most honorable white boys are the ones that choose not to act on that pass because they understand the history, pain and insensitivity behind the use of the n-word". And we're not going to let that happen again.

Maher's current deal with HBO runs through 2018. "I'm a fierce believer in the First Amendment, so whether I agree with you or not, I believe in your right to say it".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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