Bill Maher
Comedian Bill Maher during the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 26, 2017. Reuters

HBO late-night host and comedian Bill Maher is in trouble for using a racial slur on his show. In an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) in Friday night's episode of his program "Real Time with Bill Maher," the host used the N-word.

Maher released a statement Saturday, apologizing: "The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry."

Read: Comedian Bill Maher Drops N-Word On His Show

Although, the interview continued smoothly after Maher's N-word comment, Sasse later said on Twitter he wished he had been "quick enough" to challenge Maher.

An HBO spokesman Quentin Schaffer called the joke "completely inexcusable and tasteless," adding: "We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show."

Maher's racist comments instantly became a national trending topic on social media. Many users called for the comedian's show to be canceled, while others pointed out that the host has a history of insensitive comments about race, religion and women.

Activists also criticized Maher's comments on social media. DeRay McKesson, a Black Lives Matter activist and former Baltimore mayoral candidate, led the criticism on Twitter. "Bill Maher has got to go," he wrote. "There are no explanations that make this acceptable."

In New York City, civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton addressed the issue in his Saturday sermon, the Guardian reported.

"Bill Maher decided to get on television last night and sanitize and normalize the N-word," Sharpton said. "Just because Bill Maher is liberal and our friend, you don't give him a pass … you never get the right to use that term."

Jack Posobiec, an alt-right activist and commentator, wrote on Twitter: "Racist Bill Maher must be fired and @BenSasse must be held accountable for his endorsement of the n-word."

Twitter users have demanded for instant firing of Maher for using the racist comment.

This is not the first time Maher has caused controversy with his views. He has made controversial remarks about religion, race and women in the past as well.

In 2008, he discussed Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy, according to reports, where he said: "I'm not trying to be sexist here, but I'm just saying that women try a lot of different tacks when they're in arguments… I'm not being sexist, I'm just saying that men, when we argue, we're kind of a one-trick pony — we try our thing, and then we sulk when we don't get our way."

Then, he played several clips of Clinton on the campaign trail and said: "Because the first thing a woman does, of course, is cry… and then they go to sweet talking… and then they throw an anger fit totally unrelated to anything…. And when it doesn't work, they bring out the sarcasm."

In 2015, he reportedly suggested all Muslims support the Charlie Hebdo attack. Just days after the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's offices in Paris, Maher appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to condemn the second-largest religion in the world.

He said: "I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this...But here's the important point. Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this. What they say is, we don't approve of violence, but you know what, when you make fun of the prophet, all bets are off."