Senator Al Franken is steering clear of Bill Maher’s show after the Real Time host used a racial slur on air. Franken has canceled his appearance on this week’s show due to a remark in which Maher referred to himself as the N-word during an interview on last Friday’s show. “Senator Franken believes that what Bill Maher said was inappropriate and offensive, which is why he made the decision not to appear on the next episode of Real Time,” a spokesperson for Franken told the Huffington Post. This isn’t the first time in recent weeks Franken’s press tour to promote his new book Al Franken, Giant of the Senate has inadvertently ended up in the crosshairs of controversy: Franken recently also uninvited Kathy Griffin from an event on his press tour after she came under fire for posing for a photo with Donald Trump’s fake severed head.
While HBO has denounced Maher’s use of the slur, the network will reportedly not discipline Maher and says it will replace Franken’s slot on Friday’s show. Bernie Sanders’s former national press secretary Symone Sanders is set to appear on this week’s show and plans to have a “discourse” about the N-word; Ice Cube, former U.S. representative David Jolly, and journalist David Gregory are also still on the schedule.