Keith Olbermann slams Bill Maher for resuming HBO’s ‘Real Time’ without writers

‘F*** you, Bill, you selfish and unfunny scumbag,’ political commentator says

Peony Hirwani
Friday 15 September 2023 05:53 BST
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Hollywood in historic shutdown as actors union joins writers strike

Keith Olbermann has slammed Bill Maher for resuming HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher amid the ongoing Hollywood WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

The 64-year-old political commentator took to X (formerly Twitter) to ask Maher to “f*** off” for his move.

“Without writers, the new weekly SCAB edition of Real Time With Bill Maher will be 83 seconds long,” Olbermann wrote. “As somebody who’s known you since 1978: F*** you, Bill, you selfish and unfunny scumbag.”

In a long statement earlier this week, Maher announced he will resume the production of Real Time without writers.

“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher, 67, announced.

“It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. The writers have important issues that I sympathise with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns.”

In response to Maher’s move, WGA issued its own statement, calling the comedian and writer’s decision “disappointing”.

“Bill Maher’s decision to go back on the air while his Guild is on strike is disappointing,” the WGA’s statement said.

“If he goes forward with his plan, he needs to honour more than ‘the spirit of the strike.’

“Bill Maher is obligated as a WGA member to follow the strike rules and not perform any writing services. It is difficult to imagine how Real Time with Bill Maher can go forward without a violation of WGA strike rules taking place. WGA will be picketing this show.”

Maher insisted the show sans writers will be absolutely different from before.

“I will honour the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on Real Time,” he said.

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Earlier this month, Maher criticised the screenwriters’ strike, calling the WGA’s demands “kooky”.

“They are asking for a lot of things that are, like, kooky,” Maher said on the latest episode of his Club Random podcast.

“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,” he said.

The news of Real Time comes days after Drew Barrymore announced she will start production of the fourth season of her talk show in compliance with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

In the latest update, Barrymore’s co-head writer, Cristina Kinon, joined those criticising the star for resuming her eponymous talk show without writers.

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