Ice Cube wants to talk about Bill Maher's recent use of the n-word. Cube will not cancel his previously scheduled appearance on Maher's HBO series Real Time, TMZ reported Tuesday. Instead, Cube reportedly wants to discuss the comment with Maher.
Sen. Al Franken was also originally scheduled to make an appearance Friday, but canceled. "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," Franken's rep told the New York Times Monday. "He was glad to see Bill, who the senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment."
The controversy began during Maher's recent interview with Sen. Ben Sasse. After Sasse joked that his home state of Nebraska would "love to have you work in the fields with us," Maher laughed and referred to himself as a "house n****." Maher later apologized.
In a statement to Variety Saturday, Maher said he regretted using the word. "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," he said. "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."
The comment inspired widespread criticism, including from previous Real Time guest Killer Mike. Though Mike supports Maher's First Amendment right to say "stupid shit," he later told TMZ that Maher's use of the word would have gone over much differently if he had been a guest that night. "I would've punched Bill in his stomach and said, 'You sound stupid,' and we would've smoked a joint after," he said Monday.