Political satirist Bill Maher has no doubt that Paula Deen's admission of using racist language is reprehensible.
But according to the Huffington Post Maher still took a moment on his show Real Time this week to ask his stunned panel a provocative question: do people really need to 'go away' for using that word?
The discussion quickly focuses on Maher and guest, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert.
Maher bluntly stated that he felt the Food Network overreacted by dropping Paula Deen like a hot biscuit.
'If you're 66 years old, and you were raised in Georgia, and you were a child before the civil rights movement, do you get a bit of a pass?' Maher asked.
Herbert, who is black and was sitting right next to Maher, said no, you do not get a pass for using that kind of language.
Maher said: 'It's just a word, it's a wrong word, she's wrong to use it. But do we always have to make people go away?'
Herbert replied: 'It's a free country, she has the right to say that word. It's not illegal to say that word. But her boss said, 'you've gotta go if you're gonna use that word.'