Hush, hush now Charlotte, Bill Maher has some whitesplaining to do. Hollywood’s diversity problem, said the host on last night’s Real Time With Bill Maher, is the Asians’ fault. “The dirty little secret,” Maher said on his HBO show, “is most movies are made now with an eye to the foreign market, and Asians really are racist.”
When his guests, including Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FLA), reacted with surprise, Maher doubled down. “I’m just honest. They don’t want to see black people generally in their movies. The Hollywood executives are, like, ‘We’re not racist, we just have to pretend to be racists because we’re capitalists. We want to sell our movies in China (and) they don’t like Kevin Hart.’ ”
Grayson wasn’t having it, saying through a smile, “You just said they’re racist, that makes you racist.”
Maher said that Hollywood is full of “the biggest liberals in the world, people who said they did not see 12 Years a Slave but they still voted for it because they knew it was the best picture.”
MacFarlane, not seeming quite sure whether Maher’s comments were a put-on, summed up the diversity problem with a weak “It’s tricky” before moving on to plug his new album.
Maher’s comments came just hours after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its own new rules to encourage diversity. The controversy had erupted when Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith announced they would boycott this year’s Oscar ceremony to protest the lack of non-Caucasian nominees. In his monologue last night, Maher brought up another city in the news: lead-poisoned Flint, Michigan. “Jada Pinkett says it’s almost as bad as her husband not getting a third Oscar nomination.”