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Reza Aslan Joins Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin In TV-Talent Apology Parade

Deadline logo Deadline 6/4/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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Reza Aslan has joined the pantheon of TV talent apologizing over the past week for various incendiary remarks they’ve made over same period about this and that.

Aslan, who hosts CNN’s religiosity series Believer, on Sunday apologized for calling President Donald Trump a “piece of shit” in a tweet, after Trump tweeted a plug for his travel ban shortly after word broke out of another attack on the London Bridge.

“This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind,” Aslan tweeted, to be more specific.

In a statement issued Sunday, Aslan says he “should have used better language to express my shock and frustration at the president’s lack of decorum and sympathy for the victims of London”:

In its own statement, CNN wanted to make sure everyone knows Aslan is not a CNN employee “but does host a series on the network. We are pleased that he has apologized for his tweets. That kind of discourse is never appropriate.”

Aslan’s apology came a day after Bill Maher apologized for a racial slur he’d used on Friday’s Real Time:

“Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show. 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 am very sorry.”

His apology came on the heels of airing network HBO’s statement it was “removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airing of the show,” calling his crack “completely inexcusable and tasteless.”

Maher’s remark was made to Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse who’d invited Maher to visit his state and “work in the fields with us.”

“Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house [expletive],”Maher said, using that same word Larry Wilmore was heard saying lovingly to President Barack Obama at Obama’s last White House Correspondents Dinner.

“It’s a joke,” Maher added, when his audience reacted with gasps, titters and some applause.

Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik has called for HBO to suspend Maher over the on-air remark.

And, of course, Kathy Griffin had kicked off Mea Culpa Week in a big way, when she got torched by the right and the left after releasing a photo of her holding up a “decapitated head” that was intended to be taken for President Donald Trump’s.

“I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction of these images,” Griffin said in a video apology Tuesday afternoon, hours after her grisly “gag” caused her to trend worldwide on Twitter. “I crossed the line…. I went way too far, ” Griffin said. “The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people…I get it,” she added. Too late. CNN announced it had severed its relationship with Griffin on its annual New Year’s Eve program and Page Six reports show star Anderson Cooper already is lobbying to have pal Andy Cohen replace Griffin.

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