Although Al Sharpton considers Bill Maher to be a friend of his, the reverend believes the comedian “must be held accountable” for making a racist joke in which he used the N-word.
“It was disgraceful,” Sharpton told TMZ of the off-color comment. “I have a lot of respect for Bill. He’s a friend–been on his show many times, but he is totally wrong. This is outrageous. He must be held accountable. There is no joke about using the N-word,” Sharpton said.
“I’m very disappointed in Bill and I think to just say it and apologize and not have some accountability is not enough,” Sharpton stated.
The longer Sharpton continued talking about it, the more fiery he got towards the “Real Time with Bill Maher” host.
“How do you get a pass for saying something like that,” Sharpton asked, getting a little worked up over it. “They weren’t even talking about race! He just out of nowhere took this–you felt you got so comfortable with us that you can denigrate us?”
Sharpton also said that to dismiss the racist comment as a joke cannot be the standard. If Maher was joking, Sharpton said, then maybe the guy who wrote the N-word on LeBron James’ front gate was joking too. “We can’t accept that.”