Al Franken Cancels Bill Maher TV Appearance After Host’s Racial Slur

Al Franken / Getty Images


Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) has canceled his Friday appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher" following the host's use of a racial slur.

Franken spent years as a comedian on "Saturday Night Live," but Maher's joking reference to himself as a "house n***er" went too far for the senator to tolerate, Fox News reports.

Maher used the term when he had Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on his show last week.  Sasse invited Maher to work the fields in Nebraska with him, and the host scoffed at the idea by comparing himself to slaves who worked indoors.

Maher has since apologized.

"Senator Franken believes that what Bill Maher said was inappropriate and offensive," said a spokesperson for the senator. The spokesperson cited the slur as the reason that Franken will skip the show.

Franken also had to recently cancel a joint appearance with Kathy Griffin after she posed with a decapitated model head of Donald Trump.

Franken has not called for further sanction against Maher and approved of the comedian’s statement of apology.

"[Franken] was glad to see Bill, who the Senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment," the spokesperson said.

The HBO host is continuing with his weekly show as usual, and none of his comedy tour dates have been canceled.

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at

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