(JTA) — Sen. Al Franken cancelled his upcoming appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” to protest the host’s recent on-air use of a racial slur.
The cancellation was first reported on Monday by the Huffington Post.
In an interview Friday with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., the lawmaker invited Maher to join in for “work in the fields.” Maher demurred, saying that he was a “house n***|*r.”
Maher later apologized for the remark. HBO said it would not fire Maher over the comment.
“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,’” Franken’s spokesperson said in statement emailed to HuffPo. “He was glad to see Bill, who the Senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment.”
No other guests scheduled for the next show have announced that they would pull out. Symone Sanders, an activist and former national press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, confirmed to the Huffington Post that she would appear. Other scheduled guests include Ice Cube, Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) and journalist David Gregory.