Al Franken Backs ‘Friend’ Bill Maher After Bailing on His Show: ‘He’s Not a Racist’


Senator Al Franken (D-MN) spoke out Thursday morning in defense of his pal Bill Maher, days after canceling an appearance on his show after the Real Time host used a racial slur on his broadcast.

Appearing on SiriusXM’s Alter Family Politics, the Senator condemned Maher for his use of the slur, but when asked if he thinks Maher is a racist, his response was unwavering.

“No!” Franken said. “He’s not a racist. I don’t think he’s a racist. But I think he just used a word that white people have no business using and he should know that.”

The longtime Saturday Night Live star explained that he didn’t want to face scrutiny this week leading up to what was scheduled to be a Friday appearance.

“[T]hat’s a line that he should have known,” Franken 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. And look, I’ve known Bill for years. He’s a friend of mine. 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.”

“[H]e’s a friend of mine and that was hard for me,” Franken said. “I mean, it wasn’t that hard. But it wasn’t a comfortable feeling I had calling up Scott Carter and telling him, ‘Look, I can’t do this.'”

Listen above, via SiriusXM’s Alter Family Politics.

[featured image via screengrab]


Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:

Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo