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Ice Cube to address Bill Maher's racial slur on 'Real Time' Friday

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/8/2017 Jayme Deerwester
Ice Cube performs during the 2015 BET Experience at the Staples Center on Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Los Angeles. © Rich Fury/Invision/AP Ice Cube performs during the 2015 BET Experience at the Staples Center on Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Los Angeles.

We'll give Bill Maher this much: He isn't taking the easy way out in the first episode of Real Time since he used a racial slur during an interview last week.

He'll have to look Ice Cube in the face on Friday's show (10 ET/PT) and explain why he made a joke about house and field (slaves) during an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse on June 2. (The rapper/actor had been booked all along but opted not to cancel.)

"He knows that's a bad word to a lot of people," the rapper and actor told Rolling Stone in an interview published Thursday. "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?"

"He wants to talk about 'house (slaves) like they had it so much better?" the N.W.A. co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer continued. "It's like, please. It wasn't a cakewalk for a so-called 'house (slaves),' either, unless you like being raped. Sometimes, you gotta know when to shut up. Check yourself before you wreck yourself." 

Ice Cube also pointed out that comments like Maher's aren't appropriate regardless of which side of the aisle they come from.

"It's just not funny to diss at least the ones who got it (worse than others)," he said. "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 façade and the (expletive). Let's be real."

Last weekend, Maher issued an apology in which he admitted "the word was offensive" and said that he regretted using it. HBO called the comment "inexcusable and tasteless" and announced they would edit that part out for future airings of the episode.

But the fallout continued this week when Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) canceled his appearance on Friday's episode. He was to have appeared in the same post-monologue, single-guest interview in which Sasse participated.

In an interview that aired Thursday on SiriusXM's Family Politics, Franken, who still considers Maher a friend, said, "He’s been around long enough to know that that’s not a word white people can use. It just is not. And he should have known that. I just didn’t want to sit around for 4-5 days being attacked for going on the show before I went on the show.”

Franken also recently rescinded an invitation to  comedian Kathy Griffin to appear at a seminar about his new book Giant of the Senate after she posed with a fake, severed Trump head.

Related video: The backlash against Bill Maher (via CBS News) 

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