Ice Cube Calls Bill Maher Using the N-Word a Teachable Moment

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What's fair game in comedy, and what crosses the line?

Bill Maher addressed the elephant in the room Friday on Real Time, apologizing for uttering the N-word on air last week and discussing the controversy he ignited with author and sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson.

This week, Bill Maher faced a tidal wave of criticism for his usage of a racial slur during a recent episode of Real Time.

Bill Maher has been a hot topic for the last week over his use of the N-word during a tasteless joke on his show.

"We need to get to the root of the psyche", he continued. But Dyson suggested that his use of the word was an "unconscious reflex" that comes out of a culture of white privilege, even among caucasians who don't have any history of making racist remarks. I just don't know sometimes. As much as I hate Trump, that's wrong.

"Yeah, of course, I think I do", Maher answered. If it brought back pain to people then that's why I apologised freely and I reiterated it tonight, ' he added. "The word was offensive and I regret saying it and I'm very sorry".

Ice Cube appeared on the second-half of the show to delivered a teachable moment.

He added, "I like your show".

Bill Maher has apologised for using the n-word in an ill-judged quip.

Ice Cube called the word a "weapon" used by white people against black people.

Later in the show, rapper and actor Ice Cube told Maher that the word is "like a knife" in that it can either be used as a weapon or as a tool.

I think there's a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they're a little too familiar, or they think they're too familiar. "You can't have it back". As the Real Time host teased, Dyson was booked on the show to take him "to the woodshed".

Another guest, former Bernie Sanders press secretary Symone Sanders, was a little more passionate in her response telling Maher that his joke was a slap in the face to all Black people, especially Black women, because hi joke attempted to "whitewash" all of the torture and pain actual "house n*ggers" endured during slavery. "People make mistakes and we're all sinners".

While Cube initially accepted Maher's apology, he wasn't about to let the comedian go that easily.