Liberal political comedian Bill Maher is facing backlash for using the N-word on his HBO show "Real Time" on Friday.
He was in the middle of a sit-down interview with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., when he said it.
"I've gotta get to Nebraska more," said Maher.
"You're welcome. We'd love to have you work in the fields with us," Sasse joked.
"Work in the fields? Senator, I'm a house nigga," Maher replied. Sasse, seemed to chuckle and smile uncomfortably as some people in the audience laughed and others groaned.
Maher then offered a little reassurance to the audience: "It's a joke."
Still, Maher's "joke" sparked criticism that spread on social media platforms like Twitter. "Neither history nor comedy gives you the right to use a vile slur as violent 1 liner," tweeted NAACP president and CEO Cornell Brooks.
Some people even called for Maher's ouster, including Deray McKesson, a civil rights activist and member of Black Lives Matter.
Maher has pushed the envelope in the past with his risque humor. Last month he made an incest joke about President Trump and his daughter Ivanka.
Sasse took to Twitter early Saturday to share what he wished he would have said at the moment N-word was uttered.