Speaking per Entertainment Weekly, a rep for HBO confirms that there will be a new episode coming on the air. This will mark the first time that Maher can address the controversy live for saying the n-word on the air; he did release a statement showing regret, but there is certainly more that he needs to do in the event he wants to continue with his show. Even that is not certain.
One other thing that is known now is that Senator Al Franken, originally set to appear Friday, has since canceled his appearance. In a statement to the aforementioned publication, spokesperson Michael Dale-Stein directly attributes it to the offensiveness of the comment that was made:
“Senator Franken believes that what Bill Maher said was inappropriate and offensive, which is why he made the decision not to appear on the next episode of Real Time. He was glad to see Bill, who the Senator considers to be a good friend, apologize and express sincere regret for his comment.”
HBO may wait to see what the reaction is to Friday’s show to make a decision on Maher’s future, or Bill himself may have some say in it. While he does have a history of controversy and offensive statements, this is the first time that one has gone viral on such a level to reach most of the mainstream media.
One other way in which Real Time is likely to be heavily impacted by this controversy is in the Emmy race. A perennial contender, it’s now hard to see any voters being willing to include him on their submissions following such a controversy. Anyone who does should and will be the recipient of some further backlash to go along with it. There are some high-profile celebrities, including Chance the Rapper, who are calling on HBO to cancel the show.
What do you think: should the end be here for Maher’s show, and what do you think of HBO choosing to air another episode on Friday? Be sure to share in the attached comments! (Photo: HBO.)