Bill Maher, left, speaks with Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska during a segment of his "Real Time with Bill Maher" on June 2, 2017.Bill Maher apologized Saturday for using of a racial slur to describe himself as a house slave during a live segment for his HBO talk show.Maher's comment during his discussion with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, was quickly and broadly criticized after it aired on the comedian's "Real Time with Bill Maher" show Friday night.HBO said the remark was "completely inexcusable and tasteless" and the segment would not be re-aired."Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I'm up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn't have said on my live show," Maher said in a statement Saturday. "Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry."During Maher's discussion with Sasse, the senator joked that he would like to have Maher visit Nebraska and work in the fields. The comedian responded by using a slur in a joke that he was a house slave.The comedian immediately waved off audience groans. "It's a joke," he said on the show.Activists including the Rev. Al Sharpton quickly criticized Maher, and it remained a top-ranked topic on Twitter on Saturday morning.NAN wants to meet w/ HBO asap about the normalizing of the use of the N word. I know and love Bill Maher but this is unacceptable. I will&mdash; Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) June 3, 2017 address this Bill Maher issue and our move on HBO at this morning&#39;s NAN Saturday Action Rally. My address is live at 10 am/et on Impact TV.&mdash; Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) June 3, 2017 Sasse&nbsp;wrote Saturday that he wished he had immediately criticized Maher for using the term.Am walking off a redeye from LAX.3 reflections on @billmaher1. I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines.&mdash; Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017 2. But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.(2of4?) https://t.co/e4Bw8s8tV2&mdash; Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017 3. Here’s what I wish I’d been quick enough to say in the moment: “Hold up, why would you think it’s OK to use that word?...(3of4?) https://t.co/mQL6wMEd7W&mdash; Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017 (4of4)&quot;...The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don&#39;t use it.” https://t.co/kEZm5vPFHK&mdash; Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 3, 2017 12:25 p.m.: Updated with a statement from Bill MaherThis post was originally published at 8:09 a.m.