Rapper Ice Cube sat down with Real Time host Bill Maher on his HBO show Friday night, and schooled the talk show host on his use of the n-word.
The iconic rapper quipped, “I knew you was gonna f**k up sooner or later. I did. I did. I love your show, you’ve got a great show, but you’ve been buckin’ up against that line a little bit. You know, you’ve got a lot of black jokes. You know what I’m sayin’, you do.”
“Well, against racists. Yes,” Maher responded, shocked by his hard-hitting words.
“Eh. Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker,” the rapper replied.
“No, I don’t. That I gotta push back on,” Maher said defensively.
He then called Maher out for dropping the n-word during last week Friday’s Real Time show when he interviewed Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) and said, “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n—-r.”
Maher has since apologized for using the word and acted slightly annoyed when he explained to Ice Cube that “there was no thought put into it,” adding that “Comedians, they react. And it was wrong, and I apologized. And more than that I can’t do.”
“I accept your apology. But I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche,” Ice Cube explained.
Referencing Maher’s former relationships with black women, the rapper said, “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—or it’s guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two who made them some Kool-Aid every now and then, and they think they can cross the line. And they can’t.”
Ice Cube gave him a short histroy lesson, saying: “It’s a word that has been used against us; it’s like a knife, man. And you can use it as a weapon, or you can use it as a tool. It’s been used as a weapon against us by white people, and we’re not gonna let that happen again by nobody, because it’s not cool. Now, I know you heard [it], it’s in the lexicon and everybody’s talkin’, but that’s our word now. That’s our word now. And you can’t have it back. I know they’re tryin’ to get it back.”
The host’s ex-girlfriend Coco Johnsen claimed during an interview with Vibe on Wednesday that she heard Maher use the word while they were in a relationship.
“I’ve heard the word many times,” Johnsen said to the cameras, insinuating that Maher said it a few times around her. “I don’t think he’s racist. But he probably did it for shock value.”
Maher issued an official public apology shortly after the incident occurred, saying “the word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry.” He also apologized on his show Friday night.
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