Despite the WGA Strike, Bill Maher Has Announced the Return of His Show “Real Time”
In an announcement on Wednesday to his social media feeds, Bill Maher announced the return of his weekly talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher. The announcement comes in the midst of an ongoing writers’ strike as they fight for fair wages, job security, and artificial intelligence regulation.
Maher Isn’t The Only One
Maher’s announcement, while disappointing, is not the first of its kind. The View and Live With Kelly and Mark have been taping through the writers’ strike to little to no attention. In a lengthy and emotional Instagram post earlier this week, Drew Barrymore apologized for resuming her show amid the strike but is still planning on keeping it on air. Barrymore says that she is doing it because “other people’s jobs are on the line.” The Jennifer Hudson Show and The Talk are also returning to air, along with Real Time.
In Maher’s social media post on Wednesday, he wrote that it was “time to bring people back to work.” Maher plans to bring back the show but without any of the segments on his show that he says are written, including his monologue, desk piece, editorial, or new rules. Maher wrote the show could not afford to lose an entire year and that while he has been helping the rest of the staff, they are struggling as they are not able to work. Interestingly, at the end of his announcement, he admitted that his show will not be as good as it usually is with the writers, but that “it will not disappoint.” You can find Maher’s entire statement in full on X under his handle @billmaher.
After the multi-millionaire’s announcement, many took to the internet to voice their disagreement with Maher’s choice to bring back Real Time. Many felt that Maher was blaming the writers for the strike and trying to guilt them into taking a deal. Many people online also said that anyone who appears on Real Time or any of the shows resuming taping would be seen as crossing the picket line as well. Many took it as an opportunity to bash Maher and his beliefs, along with his show. The WGA West also released a statement in response, saying that Maher “needs to honor more than ‘the spirit of the strike’” and that as a WGA member, he is “obligated to follow the strike rules.” They also said that they will be picketing the show.
The writers’ strike is now in its fifth month, and while shows like Real Time and The Drew Barrymore Show are returning, many are holding strong. Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Seth Myers, and Saturday Night Live are all still not taping their shows, and they don’t seem to have plans of returning until the strike is over. For the shows that have returned, picketing is expected, and fierce social media backlash and protests over viewing are certain to follow as well.
Real Time with Bill Maher Season 20 (2022) Official HBO Promo