Comedian and host Bill Maher has apologised for uttering the n-word during his appearance on a TV show.
Maher on Friday appeared on "Real Time", where he also discussed the controversy he ignited with author and sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson.
Maher had said the n-word during an interview with a Republican senator on "Real Time With Bill Maher", and immediately then told the audience it was a joke.
Maher said: "Thank you for letting a sinner in your midst. Michael Eric Dyson will be here shortly to take me to the woodshed."
According to people.com, Maher sat down with Dyson, a longtime friend, a few minutes later and said: "I want you to school me. I did a bad thing."
Dyson agreed and asked why Maher, who has been critical of what he sees as an overly apologetic culture in the past, wanted to acknowledge the wrong doing.
"There is a lot of bulls, apologizing in America, and I am against that," Maher said.
But he said apologizing for his use of the racial slur was "appropriate because, I'll tell you why: For black folks, that word , I don't care who you are, has caused pain. I'm not here to do that.
"It doesn't matter that it wasn't said in malice if it brought back pain to people. And that's why I apologized freely, and I reiterate it tonight. That's sincere. I'm not that big of an a*****e."
Dyson went on to discuss the "interesting and tricky" nature of white privilege, even for someone like Maher, reports people.com
"People don't think, ‘Oh, Bill Maher is a racist,'" he said.
"What they thought was, if even Bill Maher can at some level capitulate to a level of unconscious privilege, then the rest of us are in a serious spot," added Dyson.
Maher acknowledged the point but defended himself as a comedian.
"I just don't want to pretend this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing," he said. "Comedians are a special kind of monkey. So to speak," Dyson said.
Realising his awkward word choice, Maher shook his head and said: "Don't f*** with me. We are a trained thing that tries to get a laugh. That's what we do... And sometimes we transgress a sensitivity point."