Bill Maher
Bill Maher, pictured January 7, 2017 at the 6th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HAITI RISING Gala Benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization, the HBO show host offered an on-air apology. Getty Images

In his first appearance on the HBO program "Real Time with Bill Maher," comedian Bill Maher offered up an apology Friday for using the N-word in reference to a house slave. He also expressed the controversial viewpoint that comedians have the artistic license to freely offend.

Read: Twitter Users Want Bill Maher Fired From HBO, Citing History Of Racist And Anti-Women Comments

"The comic mind goes to a weird place sometimes," Maher began. "But it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t said in malice — it wasn’t — if it brought back pain to people. That’s why I apologize freely and I reiterate it tonight. That’s sincere."

Though he may believe his remorse was sincere, some may feel it was half-hearted. Maher appeared to reopen a debate over comedians' use of offensive terminology.

After completing his opening monologue (which largely focused on James Comey), Maher brought on Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University sociology professor, to have an open discussion about his use of an epithet.

It was announced earlier this week that Dyson was set to replace Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, who canceled his appearance because of Maher's incident.

Maher had brought his longtime friend onto "Real Time" for a very specific reason, as the host said: "School me. I did a bad thing." The pair then proceeded to have an open conversation on Maher's use of the N-word.

Dyson, who writes about racial issues, requested that Maher recognizes that his use of the racial slur was a display of his "white privilege."

Read: Bill Maher Slur: Comedian Drops N-Word On 'Real Time,' HBO Faces Calls To Fire Host

"I talk a lot about white privilege; when I was here before I spoke about that," Dyson said. "People believe that one of the things you did last week was an unconscious reflex — nobody was ascribing you any malicious intent, but that's the point right? That it grows out of a culture that reflexively identifies with some heinous acts in history. So, they think it's a matter of privilege that it doesn't happen."

Maher responded to Dyson's teachable moment in saying that we all "make mistakes" as humans.

"It’s not like I’ve made a career of this. It’s not like I went out there last Friday and said, 'Ooh, I’m going to break some new ground tonight,'" Maher responded. "It happened, and it was wrong and people make mistakes. We’re all sinners."

Later throughout the course of the show, Ice Cube made an appearance on "Real Time" to debate Maher's use of the N-word.

"I love your show, you’ve got a great show," Ice Cube said. "But you be bucking up against that line a little bit. You know, you’ve got a lot of black jokes."

While Maher claims that his jokes were targeted towards racists, the rapper and actor didn't hold back when telling the host, "Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker."

Although Ice Cube did accept an apology from Maher, he wanted to set the record straight about the N-word and its history.

"[It's] a word that has been used against us. It’s like a knife, man. And you can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool," Ice Cube said. "It’s been used as a weapon against us — by white people. And we’re not going to let that happen again, by nobody, because it’s not cool."

This wasn't Maher's first official apology statement. The HBO show host also spoke on the issue more sincerely late last week.

"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. "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."

HBO was quick to criticize Maher's comments last week. The premium network condemned his "inexcusable" comments in an official statement.

"Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless," HBO said in a statement. "We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show."

While Maher has been slammed on Twitter and by public figures, he's somehow managed to come out of this incident unscathed compared to fellow comedian Kathy Griffin.

Griffin, who infamously did a photoshoot with a bloody Donald Trump head in May, was fired by CNN and had all of her upcoming comedy shows canceled.