Bill Maher came out swinging against cancel culture in the latest episode of "Real Time." Maher cited the most recent victims of cancel culture: former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Alexi McCammond and Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall.
"I swear to God, I don't want to talk about cancel culture and this nonsense every week, but I just think people understand how this is a tsunami and how fast the goalposts change almost on a weekly basis," Maher started the discussion. Maher recently issued a warning about cancel culture, declaring it to be "real, insane, and coming to a neighborhood to you" in a February episode of his HBO talk show.
Maher pointed out that you can get canceled not only for your current supposed infractions but "anything you've ever done." The HBO host was referring to McCammond, who was forced to resign from Teen Vogue for offensive tweets she wrote a decade ago when she was 17-years-old.
Maher exploded, "Can I just say something? People talk s*** in private! We can't legislate that away! For f*** sake, can we have a little common sense? People talk s*** about each other in private."
One of Maher's guests, former Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, attempted to blame Republicans for cancel culture by bringing up the "war on Christmas." Maher responded, "Yeah, they're snowflakes, too, but they don't control the media the way these brats do. That's the problem. I don't think that it was Republicans who got Alexi [fired]."
Maher then moved on to the canceling of a musician for reading a book.
"I was reading about this guy Winston Marshall, the banjo player in Mumford & Sons," Maher said. "This guy tweeted out that he liked a book. It's a book called 'Unmasked.' I never heard of it, you never heard of it, It's apparently not favorable to Antifa, so it's criticizing Antifa. Okay, people write books."
"He tweeted out, 'Finally had the time to read your important book, you're a brave man, to the author," Maher said of the book's author, Andy Ngo. "Now he has to step away, everyone is always 'stepping away,' from the band."
Maher then read the apology from Marshall, and said, "This is his apology, so Soviet. 'Over the past few days, I have come to better understand the pain I caused by the book I endorsed.' What?!?! Did you hit someone over the head with it? 'I have offended not only a lot of people I don't know but also those closest to me, including my bandmates. And for that, I am truly sorry.'"
"It's so Stalinesque," Maher explained. "You know what, how about, 'I can read what I want. I'm a musician. Don't worry, it won't happen again!'"
Maher compared the current cancel culture climate to the blacklist era of the 1950s.
"Not just what you say, it's now what you listen to, they can catch you for that," he said. "What you order, who you say you like, anything sort of association, if you retweet something."
"I never thought I would live in an era, I remember watching movies about the 50s and the blacklist era when people would whisper that you were you're a communist and all it took was someone informing on you and us saying they saw you at a rally or a peace march and you are branded, and your career was over or you were on the blacklist," he said.
"People go to parties now and they don't want to talk. They're like, 'Can I talk? I don't know your girlfriend. She might be woke.' Really. I'm not making this up," Maher stated. "This informant thing, it's not just what you do, it's what you don't report. That's another way the goalpost moved."
(Content Warning: Explicit language):
Taking on “woke” demands. @BillMaher says it reminds him of Hollywood’s “blacklists” where now “people go to partie… https://t.co/utUPolTpH8— Brent Baker (@Brent Baker) 1616216672.0