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Bill Maher apologizes for using N-word
Harry Marcolis
In a statement issued Monday, HBO said Bill Maher will be returning to his regularly scheduled Friday night show 'Real Time' after the comedian was sharply criticized for using a racial slur on Friday. He has expressed regret for the comment.

During a conversation with Republican Sen. Ben Masse of Nebraska, Maher responded to his invitation to "work in the fields with us" by saying, "Work in the fields? Senator, I'm a house n."

Among Maher's critics was Al Sharpton, who expressed dismay at what he called normalization of the N-word.

"I know and love Bill Maher but this unacceptable," Sharpton wrote on Twitter.

Democratic Sen. Al Franken no stranger to the perils of comedy has cancelled his upcoming June 9 appearance on 'Real Time.' He cited the offensive nature of Maher's remark, but added he was glad to hear to hear him apologize for making it, a report by Variety said.

"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," said Maher, in a statement, as reported by ABC News. "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."

Just two hours before Maher's statement of apology, HBO called his use of the N-word "completely inexcusable and tasteless." But despite some calls to fire Maher, 'Real Time' is expected to return Friday in its regularly scheduled time slot, when the host reportedly will discuss his inappropriate comment.

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