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On the June 2 episode of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, the host at one point joked that he was a “house n—-r” during an interview with Republican Sen. Ben Sasse. The network later called Maher’s use of the racial slur “completely inexcusable and tasteless,” and Maher apologized shortly after — and now Ice Cube, who will appear as a guest on the show when Maher returns to air Friday, is questioning why the comic thought it was okay to say the word in the first place.
“He knows that’s a bad word to a lot of people,” the rapper told Rolling Stone. “Now, the question is: Why did he think he could be that comfortable with saying that? What makes you think you can say that? Why did you think you could get away with that?”
“It’s just not funny to diss at least the ones who got it f—ed up,” he went on. “And it’s like rich, white guys are the reason why black people are in the position they’re in. You’re supposed to be a champion, or you’re supposed to be a liberal, but racism lives in both parties. It does. So let’s throw away the facade and the bulls—. Let’s be real.”
Ice Cube’s appearance on the show was booked before Maher said the word on last Friday’s broadcast, and he said he’ll “say what I gotta say” when he’s there this week.
“And he wants to talk about ‘house n—s,’ like they had it so much better?” he said. “It’s like, please. It wasn’t a cakewalk for a so-called ‘house n—-,’ either, unless you like being raped. Sometimes, you gotta know when to shut up. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
HBO previously confirmed to EW that although Maher will return to the show Friday, his long-term future at the network remains unclear.
Read Ice Cube’s full remarks over at Rolling Stone.