Bill Maher will be back on the air Friday.
HBO has no plans to fire Maher after he used a racial slur during Friday’s episode of “Real Time,” TMZ reports, noting that the commercial-free company is not tied to advertisers since it is a subscription service.
Quentin Schaffer, a spokesperson for the network, confirmed that Maher would be on his show as scheduled this coming Friday.
Maher joked that he was a “house n****r” in response to a comment from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that Maher should “work in the fields.” The audience responded to the comment with a mix of claps and groans. The host later apologized, saying he regretted using the “offensive” term.
“Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show,” he said in a statement. “Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry.”
HBO plans to edit the episode.
“Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless,” Schaffer said in a statement. “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.”
However, some have been calling for his termination.