Comedian Bill Maher has drawn criticism from left-wing pundit Keith Olbermann for deciding to revive HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” in the midst of the current writers’ strike. Olbermann was not shy about his criticism of Maher’s statement that he would go on creating episodes without the show’s writers, and he posted about it on social media.
Olbermann responded to Maher’s choice to create the show without its writing team while writers are still on strike against major industry studios on Thursday by saying, “F— you, Bill,” on the social networking platform X.
In a post on the same site on Wednesday, Bill Maher had announced the return of “Real Time” and provided an explanation of his reasoning. He acknowledged that the writers had reasonable concerns but underlined that other staff members were also having difficulties. He mentioned the five-month duration of the strike and the necessity to get employees back to work.
In addition to increased residuals and compensation, writers on strike are calling for protections against the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the writing process and a guarantee of a minimum number of writers per room.
In response to Maher’s announcement, Olbermann shared an item from Variety and said, “The new weekly SCAB edition of ‘Real Time With @billmaher’ will be 83 seconds long without writers.” “As somebody who’s known you since 1978: F— you, Bill, you selfish and unfunny scumbag,” he continued, addressing Maher directly.
When he made the initial announcement, Maher said that the show wouldn’t be the same without writers. He did, however, reassure the audience that the central feature of the program—an impromptu panel debate meant to transcend partisanship—would remain unaltered.
The host of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” Drew Barrymore, was criticized as well for announcing the show’s comeback in the midst of the ongoing strike. She clarified that although her play was done before the walkout started, it was decided to reopen for business as a result of its distinct style, which aims to depict difficulties encountered in the actual world.
Many on social media chastised Barrymore for not supporting writers; one commenter implied that writers were crucial to Barrymore’s success. According to Warner Bros. Discovery, “The Drew Barrymore Show” will abide by the authors Guild of America (WGA) strike by going back without authors. This implies that there won’t be any written content, such as editorials, desk pieces, monologues, or New Rules.
The decision has sparked uproar and prompted passionate responses from celebrities like Keith Olbermann and Drew Barrymore, as Maher’s program gets ready to return without its writers. It has also raised concerns about the place of writers in the entertainment industry.