Bill Maher — host of HBO's "Real Time" — defended comedian Dave Chappelle in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, who noted to Maher that Chappelle has a "long history of going after trans people," particularly in his controversial Netflix stand-up special "The Closer."
And Maher, during his wide-ranging Wednesday chat with Cuomo, also pushed back against the radical leftist notion that children can choose their own gender.
What are the details?
Cuomo added to Maher that Chapelle's "homophobia is not as much of a push against him as what he says about trans people" and that the comedian now complains he's being "canceled" in the wake of "The Closer."
Maher replied that he's on "Team Dave" and is for "free speech."
After Cuomo asked, "Why?" Maher replied, "Well, you say 'going after.' You use terms like 'homophobia.' I was speaking recently about 'phobia.' There's a word that's traveled quite a bit from its original meaning. A lot of mission creep on that word 'phobia.' It's become ... a word [people use] to say, 'I don't like something.' Phobia means an irrational fear … [Chappelle is] not afraid of homosexuals ... [he's] not transphobic."
Maher continued: "This trans stuff is very new. I don't think he or myself or any other ... right-thinking person thinks there aren't such things in the world as people who are trans, who are born in a body that doesn't align with what their brain is telling them. That's OK. But now we're talking about children."
With that he noted that a woman acquaintance in her 40s recently told him she was a "tomboy" growing up — which presumably was in the 1980s and 1990s — and that had she come of age today "they would've made me into a boy here in California."
'This is not crazy stuff that makes you a bigot'
"So don't put it into this category of 'this is settled science — anything that deviates from the one true opinion on this means you're some horrible bigot and transphobic.' That's not what's going on here," Maher added. "And I don't think Dave Chappelle is transphobic. I mean, a lot of that special is talking about his opening act — who's trans! OK? It's like, 'Can we take a breath? Maybe we are going too far with the children part of this.' You know, kids should not be really making decisions about their gender. I mean, Mario Lopez was almost canceled for suggesting that maybe 3-year-olds shouldn't decide their gender. This is not crazy stuff that makes you a bigot."
While acknowledging that voicing such opinions "obviously has to be protected" — including when they come from Chappelle — Cuomo still pushed back against the comedian's "choice to make jokes about [transgender people]."
Cuomo added that criticism against Chappelle was along the lines of "you're punching down at this group. This is a discrete minority. They've got a lot of problems of being targeted and hurt. 'You are a powerful voice. And you making fun of them empowers the people who want to hurt them, whether you know that or not. Now that we've told you that, stop doing it.' Is that a bad suggestion?"
Maher admitted that while Chappelle is "a little obsessed with this one issue," it's likely he believes that "as a black man in America .... nobody in America except the Indians have had it anywhere near like the black folks have had it in America. So I can see why [criticism of him] would get under the skin."
Bill Maher's Take On Dave Chappelle Controversy, Toxic Democrats, GOP "SLOW-MOVING COUP" and More. youtu.be