Bill Maher has a history of saying problematic things on his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher.
The comedian was at it again on last Friday’s show when he sat down to interview Republican congressman Will Hurd of Texas. Hurd, who is Black, was asked why he is a member of the GOP.
“I’m just asking why you’re Republican,” he said. “Because they’re not good at the debt, that was their big thing. You said limited government, they don’t do that,” Maher said. “What’s in it for you? What is in the Republican Party for you? You were in the C.I.A.!”
Hurd, who was in the C.I.A. for a decade, responded that he spent his time collecting intelligence in “back alleys”
Maher responded: “That’s where they collect them, huh? By the Popeye’s Chicken.”
This is not the first time Maher has said racist and problematic things on his show. He has made numerous racist comments on his show and in blog posts. In 2017, while interviewing another Republican, Sen. Ben Sasse, Maher used the N-word when Sasse joked that Maher should visit Nebraska and work the (corn) fields.
The 2017 incident led to calls for Maher’s resignation, including from DeRay Mckesson and Chance the Rapper, while the Rev. Al Sharpton found an old clip of Maher using it repeatedly. That led to a rare apology from the often-unapologetic comic.
“Friday nights are always my worst nights of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show,” he wrote then. “Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and I’m very sorry.”
To Hurd’s credit, he was able to answer Maher’s initial question.
“I’m a Republican because I believe in limited government,” Hurd responded. “I’m a Republican because I believe in the rule of law. I’m a Republican because I believe in economic opportunity.”
Hurd: “I was in the CIA. I was the dude in back alleys at 4 in the morn collecting intel…”
Maher: “That’s where they collect it, huh? By the Popeye’s Chicken.”pic.twitter.com/vqeHlZU1Gd
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) February 2, 2019