Bill Maher has never been shy about expressing some often-unpopular opinions, and he continued that tradition on Friday night’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher”.
During the opening monologue, Maher addressed the controversy that’s engulfed fellow stand-up comic Dave Chappelle, whose comments about the transgender community in his new Netflix special “The Closer” caused outrage, resulting in Netflix employees to stage a walkout this week.
Noting that Chappelle was in “hot water,” some members of Maher’s studio audience audibly groaned.
“What the f**k was that reaction?” Maher asked. “Everyone needs to Netflix and chill the f**k out on this one.”
To make his point, Maher compared Chappelle’s special to Netflix’s mega-hit “Squid Game”.
“Really? Dave’s special is offensive but not the show where the Koreans murder each other for money?” Maher joked.
Maher also criticized those expressing their opinion on Chappelle’s special without having actually watched it.
“I think people jump to conclusions, people haven’t seen it. Just because people call Dave ‘transphobic’ doesn’t mean that he is,” Maher explained. “Also, Larry? Not a real cable guy.”
Despite Maher’s conviction, the audience didn’t seem to be buying in as much as he’d expected.
“Well, get used to this because we’re going to be talking about it a lot here,” Maher warned. “We can’t be afraid to speak in America.”
Later, during a panel discussion, Maher pointed out that nuanced opinions are becoming shut out in an increasingly polarized culture that only recognizes “one true opinion,” which also shuts down any opportunity for a reasonable debate.
“I’m a free-speech guy,” Maher explained. “Now, I’m Team Dave but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-trans. We can have two thoughts in our head at the same time.”
"I'm Team Dave, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-trans. We can have two thoughts in our head at the same time."
— Real Time with Bill Maher (@RealTimers) October 23, 2021