Updated with video Bill Maher wasn’t impressed with Michael Keaton’s apology over the whole “Hidden Fences” imbroglio – but not because Keaton’s mea culpa was insufficient. Castigating Hollywood’s “self-involved fools,” the host of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher said tonight that “policing language” did nothing to stop the rise of Donald Trump.
During the “New Rules” segment that typically ends Maher’s program with some closing-moment outrage, the longtime opponent of political correctness lashed into Keaton’s apology. (The Founder star, at the Golden Globes, had mistakenly conflated the titles of two African American-centric movies, Hidden Figures and Fences).
“Cue the outrage, cue the retraction,” Maher said, then quoted part of Keaton’s apology – with crocodile tears added: “I screwed up. It makes me feel so badly that people feel badly, and if someone feels badly that’s all that matters.”
“No,” said Maher returning to his own voice. “That’s not all that matters. In fact, things like this don’t matter at all. What matters is that while you self-involved fools were policing the language at the kids’ choice awards, a madman talked his way into the White House. What matters is that while liberals were in a contest to see who could be the first to call out fat-shaming, the Tea Party has been busy taking over schools boards.”
Maher then advised Hollywood liberals to “stop protecting your virgin ears” and pay more attention to what was happening (in so many words) behind them.
Earlier in the show, the Real Time host reiterated his pre-election warning that “a slow-moving coup” was taking over American politics, and that recent pronouncements from the president and his administration – about sending federal troops to Chicago, re-opening so-called CIA black sites, “muzzling” the EPA and warning the media to keeps its mouth shut – “all looks to me like a strongman fascist country.”
Maher also continued what seems to be a post-election Real Time theme: Imploring “sane” conservatives to stand up to Trump.
“If there’s any hope in this country – and I’m going to say this on every show – it’s sane Republicans,” Maher told conservative tax-reform advocate Grover Norquist. “You are a sane Republican.”
Later during the panel discussion, Maher backtracked on that latter claim. After Norquist supported an investigation into voter fraud, citing that debunked Pew report, Maher snapped, “So you keep telling the emperor he has clothes. I see which side you’re on.”