Michael Eric Dyson replaces Sen. Al Franken on 'Real Time with Bill Maher'

Michael Eric Dyson replaces Sen. Al Franken on 'Real Time with Bill Maher'
Michael Eric Dyson speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movement's 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' gala.
Source: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images
Michael Eric Dyson speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movement's 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' gala.
Source: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Academic and author Michael Eric Dyson will replace Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on the next episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.

A spokesperson for Franken told HuffPost he would not appear on Friday's show after Maher jokingly called himself a "house nigger" during a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.).

In a lengthy Twitter statement, Dyson defended Maher as a "champion of many fights for black justice." He described himself as feeling "emotional" about the controversy and said the "n word should be reserved for black use."

Despite his disagreement with Maher's language, Dyson said the HBO host has a history of using his platform to "amplify black voices" and would likely "use this opportunity to strengthen his role as an ally to black people."

Maher apologized the day after the offending show aired, saying, "I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and I am very sorry."

HBO quickly condemned Maher's comments, promising not to air the comment in repeat showings of the episode.

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson called for Maher to be fired amid the controversy.

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher airs live at 10 p.m. Eastern on Fridays.