Franken on Bill Maher: ‘He’s not a racist’

Franken on Bill Maher: ‘He’s not a racist’
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Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTake Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE (D-Minn.) said Thursday that HBO’s Bill Maher is “not a racist” after the comic recently used the phrase “house n---er," after canceling an appearance on Maher's show earlier this week.

“No, he’s not a racist,” Franken said on SiriusXM’s “Alter Family Politics.” “I don’t think he’s a racist. But again, he’s a friend of mine and that was hard for me.

"He’s been around long enough to know that’s not a word that white people can use. It just is not. And he should have known that.”

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Franken defended his decision to cancel his planned appearance on Maher's show, HBO’s “Real Time,” after Maher's remark.

“I just didn’t want to sit around for four, five days being attacked for going on the show before I went on the show.”

TMZ on Monday reported that Maher would return to “Real Time” this Friday despite saying “house n---er” during an interview three days before.

Maher on Saturday apologized for uttering the phrase during an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) the night before.

“The word was offensive and I regret saying it and I am very sorry,” he said in a statement.

Maher jokingly told Sasse that he considers himself a “ house n---er” when the latter invited him to “work in the fields with us” in Nebraska.

“Work in the fields?” Maher said. “Senator, I’m a house n---er.”

“No, it’s a joke,” he added.