White People and the N-Word: Should We Accept Bill Maher's Apology?

ESSENCE viewers have a lot to say about this controversial subject. 

ESSENCE.COM Jun, 07, 2017
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[BLANK_AUDIO] By now you've heard about this. I'd love to have you work in the fields with us. [LAUGH] Work in the fields? [LAUGH] That's part. Senator. I'm a house [SOUND]. [LAUGH] No, it's a joke. But is it? Of course this isn't the first time that Bill Maher has faced backlash for his comments. And some, like Chance the Rapper, are calling for HBO to cancel his show. a lot of people are sticking up for Bill and accepting his apology. Ice Cube and political activist Simone Sanders are still planning to appear on Bill Maher's show on Friday. But in light of this incident, Kathy Griffin holding up Trump's bloody head, and even Monique telling her peers to suck her you know what, we wanna know your thoughts in todays viewer poll. Should comedians get a pass from saying offensive things? Joining us now to talk about it via Skype our Essence Live viewers, Felicia Michelle and PK Kersey. Welcome to the show. Hi. Hello. Hi. Okay, Felicia we'll start with you. What were your initial thoughts when you heard Bill Maher called himself, quote, a house [SOUND]? Well when it first started I thought don't say, don't say it, don't say it, don't say it. And then he said it I'm sorry. I was like why did you do that? That was such a bad move. It was probably worse in my opinion than the N word because you're really just honing in on something very particularly painful about the African American experience which has affected us. Like colorism, and different issues like that, from then to now. So, I felt like it was just a little too specific. It wasn't general, it wasn't a rap song. It was a little too close to home for me. That's exactly right. Now, PK what were your initial thoughts. What did you think about hearing that? I mean, it was kinda tough for me because I love comedians, I love to laugh, it's one of my big things. And I also love freedom of speech. However, I believe there's certain times when it can go too far, and this was one of those times. Just that he said it. It wasn't funny to me at all, so I thought it was highly inappropriate and there's a point with comedians and I think they know that point where if you ask them again should you have said that? He would have acknowledged his mistake and said he was wrong. I think he was totally out of place. Now a lot of people [UNKNOWN] are pointing to the good that Bill has done on his show from booking black intellects to just fighting for our causes. Now how much does his past history weight in to how you judge this latest mistake that he's made? Should we view it more in a context, or it just doesn't matter at all? I mean, you can say that he has done a lot, and you can recognize that, but at this point, you know, it was a mistake. I mean, acknowledge that it was a mistake. Just don't say that because he's done so much previously, that we can just overlook it and say it wasn't a problem. He made a mistake. He was wrong. We all make mistakes. But I believe it still was something that he shouldn't have said. Right. Now Felicia, jumping over back to you, what do you think should happen in a situation like this where we know he's made a mistake, he's apologized, HBO is still going on with the show, what do you think should happen? Do you think the show should keep going? That's a tough one. Because of his history, like you said, he should have known better at that point. He should have known better, but as far as what PK was saying people do make mistakes, but I think just because of all the injustice, and how much racism is currently going on Whenever someone makes a statement like that, they're just cut off and everyone's just done with them. Like the black delegation probably wants to see the show go off. I mean, my generation doesn't know Bill Maher in the way that other generations probably know him. His show could go, in my opinion. His show could go. Wow. A lot of people agree with you. Now PK As I mentioned earlier Ice Cube and Simon Sanders members of the black delegation they're still gonna appear on Bills show this friday what message would you like for them to communicate to bill? I mean I think that's a great put I am excited now to even see the show to see what they got to come on it has to be addressed something has to be said about it so I would just like to see Seem them of course they're gonna talk about it, I wanna see Ice Cube and I'm a huge fan of Ice Cube so I know he's gonna do the right thing about acknowledging it and see how that goes. It's gonna be highly anticipated, I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes and I wanna see the response, and how everybody handles it. It's gonna be must see TV like seriously. So, some people are not offended at all? Cathy Leverage says i'm not offended by it. Pat Monroe says it was a joke. Let's move on. Bridgett Covington says it was a mistake. I forgive him. He's a good guy, but some people are not here for it. Jean Washington says he truly needs to be fired because he should have known to make a comment like that. If a black person would have said something to a different race they wouldn't think twice about firing him. That's exactly right. Is what she was saying. Sasha Gray says what's inappropriate is black people using the word frequently. So what are we saying? That we're the ones to use it and it's not racist? That's right. So Liz Wesley says there's a time a place for everything but never a time for ignorance. Wow, it still sounds pretty mixed. Well, some people win it. People aren't depending- Yeah, but I'm surprised. So many people we're just lie, it's a joke, let it go. It's a joke, let it go. All right, well, let's see. Yes. All right, let's tune in and see the results of our viewer poll. So we asked you, should Camians get a pass from saying offensive things, and here's how you voted. [MUSIC] Wow, 58% say yes. Comedians need freedom of expression. 42% no, you can be funny without being disrespectful. So 58% say yes? Guys, no, I'm in that 42%. You can be funny, Without being disrespectful. Bill knew what he was doing. He's out of order, he's out of line, the black community frowns on him. Right, Kayla? Definitely. There's some topics you stay away from. [LAUGH] [BLANK_AUDIO]