Bill Maher May Be Too Toxic for Guests After N-Word Scandal

People are calling for Maher's ousting after he dropped the N-word.

June 6, 2017 10:46 am
Television personality Bill Maher
Television personality Bill Maher attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF)
Getty Images for VF

Politicians and stars may be keeping their distance from Bill Maher after he dropped the N-word on HBO’s Real Time on Friday.

On Monday, Senator Al Franken that he is pulling out of a scheduled appearance on Real Time. He is the first major name to publicly drop out since Maher said he was a “house n—” in response to Senator Ben Sasse’s invitation to “work in the fields with us” in Nebraska.

Some industry insiders expect the booking issues to get worse before they get better. The Hollywood Reporter reports that skittish publicists already tend to steer their clients away from Maher’s show to avoid any potential showdowns—such as the one that occurred between Maher and Ben Affleck in October 2014. Maher also once scolded former President Barack Obama on air for not appearing on the show in 2016.

Maher has apologized for what he said last week and has only four episodes left in Real Time’s 15th season. Howard Bragman, a Hollywood crisis guru, told The Hollywood Reporter that the controversy comes at an arguably opportune time for Maher. He was able to address it, and soon can recede from public view during hiatus.

High-profile figures like Chance the Rapper and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson have called for Maher to be fired for using the racial slur.

However, TMZ reports that HBO executives have already decided Maher will stay on the air on the premium cable network.

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