Bill Maher enjoys pushing buttons with controversial remarks, but many believe he's gone too far with his latest comments about the WGA strike.
In a conversation with comedian Jim Gaffigan for his podcast Club Random, the Real Time host shared that he doesn't 100 percent stand with writers, who are demanding better working conditions amid the 2023 strike.
"They're asking for a lot of things that are, like, kooky," he told Gaffigan. "What I find objectionable about the philosophy of the strike, it seems to be, they have really morphed a long way from 2007's strike, where they kind of believe that you're owed a living as a writer, and you're not. This is show business. This is the make-or-miss league."
He acknowledged that his HBO show depends on a writing staff and attempted to clarify his stance, noting, "I feel for my writers. I love my writers. I'm one of my writers. But there's a big other side to it."
He added, "And a lot of people are being hurt besides them—a lot of people who don’t make as much money as them in this bipartisan world we have where you're just in one camp or the other, there's no in between. You're either for the strike like they're f--king Che Guevara out there, you know, like, this is Cesar Chavez's lettuce picking strike—or you're with [Donald] Trump. There’s no difference—there's only two camps. And it's much more complicated than that."
On social media, many Twitter users disagreed that the situation is as nuanced as Maher claims it is, pointing out that writers deserve to make a livable wage, just like everyone else.
Here are some of the biggest reactions:
Multimillionaire Bill Maher doesn't thinks the writers who produce most of the content for the late night show that made him a multimillionaire are owed a living wage. https://t.co/qYjT6oW8Kv
— America's Exceptionalist Dumpsterfire (@ljmontello) September 6, 2023
If you’re a writer for Bill Maher, what reason would you have to return to working with this guy after the strike? Because I don’t see any after this.
He CLEARLY doesn’t care that you make up the majority of his show. https://t.co/OA0qx2ipj8
— #FreeAdequateEmily (@ImprisonedEmily) September 4, 2023
Bill Maher being woefully misinformed (once again)... Does he think the WGA's demands are for unemployed writers?! If someone is hired to write something for a billion-dollar corporation, they are, in fact, OWED A LIVING YOU NITWIT https://t.co/mTqhAc2c8F
— Nic Curcio IS ON STRIKE (@NicCurcio) September 4, 2023
If you are still defending Bill Maher at this point—why? He’s not just an asshole—he’s anti-“woke,” anti-labor, completely lacking in empathy. Let go and move on. Whatever he used to be he’s just a cranky old conservative now
— Chrissy Stroop (@C_Stroop) September 6, 2023
If anyone needs another reason to ignore Bill Maher.
He loves his writers, he just doesn’t think they deserve a living wage. 👀
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) September 5, 2023
No, sorry. They are owed a living as a writer and this whole strike is to help force that by showing the studios how much they're needed.
Bill Maher has never seen a ladder he can't kick down after him https://t.co/VEIfM70s5O
— Zach Rosenberg’s Debut Is Out Now! (@ZachRoseWriter) September 6, 2023
It’s a good thing Bill Maher doesn’t completely rely on writers….. oh wait https://t.co/SzL8H613Uy
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) September 5, 2023
Bill Maher has always sucked. And the few times he hasn't sucked entirely are because a writer created something for him to say that briefly made him seem smart. But at his heart, he sucks. A thousand times sucks. A million sucks. The suckiest suck. A talentless suck.
— Alex R. Johnson/WGA Cap’n on covid break (@HaciendaFilms) September 4, 2023
Trash take by Bill Maher who has never not been trash. Unabashedly racist, misogynist and Islamophobic, He was never ever left, he rose to fame as a contrarian antagonist and in recent years has been an anti-vaxxer and QAnon conspiracy theorist. WRITERS DESERVE A LIVING WAGE,… https://t.co/5UsxReruN2
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) September 5, 2023
Does Bill Maher know that the writers in the guild who are striking are the ones who made it in this “make or miss league?” pic.twitter.com/MBEBJyi5Sc
— åπd®ew 🐢🐢 (@Andrew__Boley) September 4, 2023
Talk Show hosts like Bill Maher *definitely* shouldn't be "owed a living" - especially when he *needs* a staff of writers whose sole job is to make him appear funnier than he really is.
— Todd Spence (@Todd_Spence) September 5, 2023
Bill Maher is an oblivious rich right wing tool who’d be living in a refrigerator box if not for writers.
He’s always been a legendarily unpleasant person IRL, but now he’s just letting it all out. Fuck this clod. https://t.co/aauizIkdnI
— Josh Olson (@joshuarolson) September 4, 2023
Bill Maher should immediately cease using writers for the rest of his career since he doesn’t respect their contribution and feels they’re not owed a career. Let’s see him do a weekly show without them.
I mean, I won’t watch either way, but he couldn’t do it without writers.
— Josh @saltedjosh.bsky.social (@SaltedJosh) September 6, 2023
Bill Maher - who relies on a full-time writing staff to do the show that’s made him wealthy - doesn’t think those writers are owed a living wage. What a pos. https://t.co/jsi0NGi7c7
— Sean Kent (@seankent) September 5, 2023
The WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike began on May 2, 2023 and is still going. The decision was made after ongoing disputes between the guild and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).