The recent outrage over Bill Maher‘s use of the n-word has sparked a lot of conversation about who can and can’t say the notorious word.
But a 16-year-old video footage of the Real Time host insulting and questioning actress Anne-Marie Johnson‘s Blackness has recently resurfaced for a new generation of critics. On the episode of his previous show, Politically Incorrect, Maher had Anne-Marie Johnson, Sarah Silverman, David Spade and activist Guy Aoki as guests.
In the shocking video from August 2001, Maher got into a heated debate with Johnson, arguing that White people should be able to say the n-word.
Johnson became upset the more Maher spoke about her, her Blackness and repeatedly used the n-word. He said, “Every African-American person uses that word night and day. It’s in every song; it’s all through culture. The word has changed. It has been co-opted as a term of endearment. It’s in every song. I have people walking up to me going, ‘Hey Bill, you a n***a,’ and I can’t thank them?”
He went as far as to insult the actress, saying, “First of all. I wouldn’t even know you were Black if you hadn’t told me.” But Johnson held her own against the ruthless host. She clapped back by citing the continuing existence of hate crimes, adding, “I love when White people try to define African-Americans. I think I’m only one on this stage who’s qualified to talk about the meaning of the word, how it hurts, how it doesn’t hurt, where it’s used, the history of it because I live it everyday.”
Following Maher’s recent controversy with the n-word, his ex girlfriend Coco Johnsen slightly insinuated that this isn’t the first, second, or third time Bill has used the word. When asked if he freely used the n-word around her and she told TMZ, “I’ve heard the word many times. I just think that anyone who uses the n-word is insensitive. I’m sure that he’s learned his lesson.”
Ice Cube is set to appear on Bill Maher’s Real Time this Friday. This should be interesting.