Bill Maher is in full crisis mitigation mode as he tries to repair his tattered image after saying the N-word on his late night HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday. His latest strategy is to have black author and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson on his show this Friday after Sen. Al Franken canceled.
Dyson has been one of the few prominent black figures who has come to the defense of Maher, stating the comedian is “an ally to black people.” He says:
“He has bravely, and relentlessly, pilloried racism, white privilege, and white indifference to the black plight,” Mr. Dyson wrote. “Plus, he has, from the start, featured brilliant black personalities on his shows, whether on network TV or now cable. In short, he has used his platform to highlight black faces, and amplify black voices, that might never have otherwise been given such a prominent perch to tell their truths. Given the Bill Maher I know, he will use this opportunity to strengthen his role as an ally to black people.”
The Georgetown professor’s take on the incident stands in stark contrast to fellow black voice Al Sharpton, who angrily condemned Maher’s use of the word this week.
“How do you get a pass for saying something like that,” Sharpton asked. “They weren’t even talking about race! He just out of nowhere took this–you felt you got so comfortable with us that you can denigrate us?”
This Friday’s show should give Maher ample air space to expound on his apology, as Republican Rep. Dave Jolly, Bernie Sanders former press secretary Symone Sanders, Ice Cube, and Dyson will all be on to discuss cultural issues in America.
A statement from Ice Cube’s camp read: “Ice Cube will still appear on Bill Maher this Friday as scheduled to talk about the release of ‘Death Certificate: 25th Anniversary’ edition, an album that was recorded in the wake of the Rodney King beating in 1991, which sadly, speaks to many of the same race issues that we as a society are still dealing with today.”
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