The Internet outrage machine continued to churn at a high gear Saturday in the wake of Bill Maher’s inexplicable use of a racial slur during the Friday night broadcast of his HBO show, “Real Time.”

On the program, Maher used the slur to refer to himself as a house slave during a discussion with Republican Sen. Bill Sasse of Nebraska. Sasse suggested that Maher should come to his district to work in the fields, which is when Maher responded with the term. “It’s a joke,” Maher said as the audience groaned.

As social media erupted with criticism of Maher, HBO released a statement on Saturday calling the remark “completely inexcusable and tasteless,” and indicated that the segment would not be re-aired.

A short time later, Maher apologized in a statement: “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. 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.”

Here’s the clip. Judge for yourself. Are you offended? Leave your comment below.