Real Time with Bill MaherLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
A journalist of South Asian descent says "most of us happily embraced Apu" in the 1990s, but The Simpsons can fix its most controversial character
"For those of us with low expectations, starving for any representation, Apu was a breath of fresh air," says Wajahat Ali, the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants who grew up near Silicon Valley. While other portrayals showed brown people as cab drivers or terrorists, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon "was an integral character in the Simpsons universe who was able to be a co-protagonist of several episodes," he says. "Only in a cartoon, we thought, could people who look like us achieve such a feat." But that doesn't mean Apu or The Simpsons "get a lifetime pass to perpetuate lazy stereotypes," he says. "Any piece of art, no matter how well intentioned, harmless or silly, is not above reproach or critical examination... Instead of engaging with the issue of representation, which would have made for a more satirical and topical show — you know, the type The Simpsons used to do years ago — the writers responded with the worst creative sin: laziness." What The Simpsons shouldn't have done, he says, is "hijack your show’s most intellectual and empathetic voice, Lisa, as a foil for the writers’ unwillingness to be self-critical and engage their blind spots when it comes to listening to people of color who feel silenced and misunderstood. Thus, the show engages in another major sin: omission. After Lisa’s finger-wagging, the camera pans to a photo of Apu with the inscription 'Don’t have a cow!' Apu, who is a supporting character, is robbed of lines, rendered mute and frozen in a suffocating frame, smiling as a token prop. That’s exactly how so many people of color feel in real life — all the time." Ali adds: "What The Simpsons should have done was a stand-alone episode centered on Apu, who, after becoming a citizen many years ago, is confronted with an immigrant travel ban...Nobody would have a cow. But we would have an intelligent, critical, satirical show that at least confronts problematic issues instead of running away from them."
- Showrunner Al Jean explained why Lisa Simpson defended Apu, but why did she look at the camera?
- Jean criticized for tweeting conservative media in The Simpsons' defense
- Jean tweeted a link to the National Review piece: "Why the Apu Simpsons Controversy Bothers Me as an Indian American"
- Harry Shearer stuck up for the show, tweeting to Hari Kondabolu: "Bart, a pre-pubescent boy, is played by an adult woman. What's up with that?"
- BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg slammed The Simpsons response: "Imagine choosing to describe yourself and your work as 'applauded and inoffensive'"
- Bill Maher defends The Simpsons' response to Apu: "If you spend your time combing through old TV shows to identify stuff that by today’s standards looks bad, you’re not ‘woke,’ you’re just a douchebag"
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
Kathy Griffin thanks Bill Maher for supporting her, announces high-profile standup gigs
“I really want to thank you for being one of the first and only people to publicly say what happened to me was bullsh*t," Griffin told Maher on Real Time in her return to late-night TV nine months after her Trump beheading controversy. Griffin also announced she has booked gigs at Carnegie Hall in New York, and "and I’m also going to go right to Trump’s backyard and do a show at the Kennedy Center.”
Posted Thursday 3/08/18 at 7:46PM EST
Kathy Griffin cancels on Jimmy Kimmel, will make her return to late-night on Real Time with Bill Maher
Kimmel had extended an open invitation for Griffin to appear on his show after her President Trump beheading controversy, which has kept her out of the spotlight for much of the past year. (Griffin has appeared on 39 Jimmy Kimmel Live! episodes since 2003.) But Griffin had to "regretfully" cancel on Kimmel at the last minute due to a "scheduling conflict." She'll still appear on Maher's show on Friday.
Posted Monday 3/05/18 at 8:45AM EST
Kathy Griffin offers Ryan Seacrest's accuser the chance to style her when she visits Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Maher this week
"Hey Suzie Hardy, I will do for you that which no one did for me after May 30," tweeted Griffin, who will appear for her first post-Trump beheading controversy TV interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday. "After you were brave enough to speak out I’m happy to offer you a job as my stylist to dress me this week for Jimmy Kimmel and Real Time & I’ll PAY you. What ya think? KG."
Posted Saturday 3/03/18 at 1:25AM EST
Kathy Griffin: Red carpet culture needs to modernize
"I’ve walked the red carpet," Griffin writes in a Time magazine essay. "I’ve worked it—been hired and fired from it. And I’m still a viewer and fan who hosts red carpet parties at my house, sometimes with a boyfriend who isn’t quite sure why we’re watching. I get it: Even I’ve been fast-forwarding lately. The culture of the carpet needs to change...The red carpet needs to reflect the kind of personable interaction that we’re now able to have with celebrities. You can communicate with a celebrity via Twitter now; they’re not glass statues that need to be admired from 100 feet away. And it’s not about the dresses or about pirouetting like women are toys in a music box. Ninety percent of the viewers are aware that many of these women who are now showing up with jewels in their hair and a smile on their face have been sexually assaulted. These women believe in their projects and they want to talk about them, and they have other things to talk about sometimes, too."
Posted Wednesday 2/28/18 at 5:47PM EST
Bill Maher to welcome two Parkland high school students
David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, two of the highest-profile Florida school shooting survivors, are scheduled to appear on Real Time on Friday.
Posted Monday 2/12/18 at 8:22PM EST
Amber Ruffin: Bill Maher, "go f*ck yourself"
The Late Night writer/performer, in her monologue as host of the Writers Guild Awards last night, praised her boss Seth Meyers as "the first woke late-night host" and called BET host Robin Thede "the most woke late-night host." She also name-dropped Jordan Klepper and John Oliver for also being "woke." As for Bill Maher? He can go "f*ck himself," she said.
Posted Saturday 11/18/17 at 12:32AM EST
Bill Maher defends Al Franken: He’s no Kevin Spacey, or Harvey Weinstein
“Al’s a friend,” Maher said on Friday’s Real Time, “but Al — I gotta tell you, if you write a comedy sketch where you, Al Franken, kiss a model and her next line of dialogue isn’t ‘Get off of me, creepy!’ it’s not comedy; it’s science fiction.” He added that the U.S. Senator didn’t deserve to "be lumped" in with Roy Moore, Spacey, Weinstein or even Donald Trump.
Posted Saturday 11/11/17 at 3:34AM EST
Real Time with Bill Maher with guest Sarah Silverman avoided the Louis CK topic — even though her sister tweeted about him
Laura Silverman tweeted on Thursday that Louis CK masturbated in front of her numerous times “before he was famous,” but she doesn’t consider herself a “victim” as they had once dated. As Deadline notes, Maher and Sarah Silverman seemed obviously trying to avoid talking about the Louis CK controversy, as their silence on the topic extended into the “Overtime” segment of Friday night’s live show.
Posted Wednesday 9/27/17 at 11:39PM EDT
Report: CBS is interested in selling its iconic Television City studio
CBS has interviewed brokers about potentially selling the historic 25-acre studio lot that opened in 1953, according to The Real Deal. The iconic studio has been home to many famous shows, including American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, All in the Family, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Real Time with Bill Maher, Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Carol Burnett Show, America’s Got Talent and The Price is Right.
# TOPICS: CBS, All in the Family, American Idol, America's Got Talent, The Carol Burnett Show, Dancing with the Stars, Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Price is Right, Real Time with Bill Maher, CBS Television City
Posted Wednesday 9/20/17 at 2:21PM EDT
The Trump era has given late-night hosts job security
Were the recent long-term deals for John Oliver, Trevor Noah and Bill Maher connected to the Trump administration?