Bill Maher under fire after making fried chicken joke to black congressman Will Hurd

Bill Maher (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO Films)

Comedian Bill Maher is under fire after making a comment about fried chicken to a black congressman on a recent episode of his HBO show.

On Friday’s edition of Real Time With Bill Maher, the political commentator sat down to interview Will Hurd, a Republican congressman from Texas, who is black. The discussion began when Maher asked about why Hurd is a member of the GOP.

“I’m just asking why you’re Republican. Because they’re not good at the debt, that was their big thing. You said limited government, they don’t do that,” Maher said. “What’s in it for you? What is in the Republican Party for you? You were in the CIA!”

I was in the CIA for almost a decade. I was the dude in the back alleys at 4 o’clock in the morning collecting intelligence on threats to the homeland,” said Hurd, speaking about his background.

“That’s where they collect them, huh?” said Maher. “By the Popeyes Chicken.”


People on social media quickly picked up on the moment and criticized Maher. Maher, for his part, has not commented on the controversy.

Maher has frequently found himself in trouble for racially charged comments made on his show and in blog posts. While interviewing Republican Sen. Ben Sasse in 2017, Maher used the N-word when Sasse joked that Maher should visit Nebraska and work the fields. When audience members groaned, he turned to them and remarked, “It’s a joke.”

After Maher’s comment Friday night, the laughter turned to groans yet again. And the show went on.

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