Bill Maher’s Criticism of WGA Strike Incenses Supporters

Bill Maher's harsh criticism of the WGA strike has outraged many supporters who describe his comments as “tone-deaf.” The host of Real Time with Bill Maher, which hasn't aired new episodes since April 28, has strong opinions about the ongoing WGA strike.

Variety reports that Maher shared his thoughts on the Club Random podcast during a chat with comedian Jim Gaffigan. “They’re asking for a lot of things that are, like, kooky,” Maher says about the WGA. “What I find objectionable about the philosophy of the strike [is] 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.”

Maher Says Streamers Have No Reason to Want to Settle WGA Strike

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Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Angela George, CC BY 3.0.

“[Streamers] have tons of stuff in stock, so they have no reason to wanna settle this strike,” continues Maher. “They struck at just the wrong time; they have no leverage. Has anyone who is watching TV recently noticed a difference? Has it affected the person down the pipeline? I don’t think so. I haven’t noticed a difference. At some point, I guess that will happen. What day is that when Netflix runs out of what they have in the warehouse?

“I feel for my writers. I love my writers. I’m one of my writers. But there’s a big other side to it. 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…. And it’s much more complicated than that.”

Deadline reports that Maher's comments “annoyed” voice actor/singer/SAG-AFTRA strike captain Sue Berch. She says, “He’s sitting on an overstuffed chair, smoking a cigar, completely tone-deaf, and he’s saying: ‘You know I really care about my writers. I’m one of my writers, and I get that there’s a strike but, you know, nobody promised these guys a career.’ You know what? You’re right: No one promised us a career. But because we have careers, we should be able to make a decent wage. It’s not too much to ask for that.”

The 21st season of Real Time with Bill Maher ended on April 28 after 13 episodes, the shortest season since the talk show debuted in 2003.