UPDATE 4.30pm: Senator Ben Sasse has responded to late night host Bill Maher's use of the N-word during an interview with the Nebraska politician.
In a series of Tweets on his personal account, Sasse said he wishes he would have "been quick enough to say in the moment, 'Hold up, why would you think it's ok to use that word?".
Am walking off a redeye from LAX.
3 reflections on @billmaher
1. I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines.— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017
2. But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.
(2of4?) https://t.co/e4Bw8s8tV2— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017
3. Here’s what I wish I’d been quick enough to say in the moment: “Hold up, why would you think it’s OK to use that word?...
"...The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don't use it.” https://t.co/kEZm5vPFHK— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017
EARLIER: Comedian Bill Maher has come under fire after he used a racial slur during an interview with Nebraska Senator, Ben Sasse.
Maher used the N-word during a segment of the interview when the two men were discussing Halloween and whether or not adults dress up in Nebraska.
"It's frowned upon. We don't do that quite as much," Sasse said.
"I've got to get to Nebraska more," Maher replied.
"You're welcome. We'd love to have you work in the fields with us," added Sasse
"Work in the fields? Senator, I'm a house n***r," Maher said.
There were audible groans from audience members, whom Maher assured: "No, it's a joke," before they burst into applause.
There was a strong reaction on Twitter to the controversial presenter's use of the N-word.
I stopped watching Bill Maher when he started on his anti-Muslim campaign & wouldn't let it go. Not surprised to hear him use the n-word now— Jonathan Riley (@realJonRiley) June 3, 2017
To everyone who is defending Bill Maher: remember that dismissing someone's bigotry just because they're in your party is how we got Trump.— Jeeniya (@jeeniya90) June 3, 2017
Maybe don't be the white guy that tries to explain why it was okay for Bill Maher to say the n-word.— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) June 3, 2017
If you say you're on the left in 2017 and you're still defending Bill Maher I need to tell you: you're not on the left— Louisa 🌈👭 (@LouisatheLast) June 3, 2017
Bill Maher will soon blame Trump for his racism, he will apologize then claim Trump family is ruining his life. That's how this works now.— Irma (@irmahinojosa_) June 3, 2017
If you think Bill Maher shouldn't be on tv because he said the n word, you obviously haven't seen his other attempts at comedy.— WIERaDiO (@JonWKLB) June 3, 2017