HBO host Bill Maher slammed NBA star LeBron James, actor John Cena, and skier Eileen Gu for their actions related to China in his New Rule segment on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
Maher slammed Gu, an 18-year-old American skier who turned on the U.S. and competed for China in the recent Olympic games.
“Is that cool now, to choose to represent a totalitarian police state over America?” Maher asked. “The Olympics pretends to only be about sports, but of course, the games have always been a bit of a proxy war for which country has the best system. And by choosing Team China, Eileen Gu became a living symbol of China’s triumph over the West, which wouldn’t bother me so much if I thought China had triumphed over us in the ways that really matter. But they haven’t.”
“Now, we do have human rights issues right here at home, we do, but we’re still at least, for another three years, a democracy based on freedom, and they are an authoritarian surveillance state based on ‘How would you like to disappear for a few months?’” Maher said. “Like that tennis player [Peng Shuai] who recently vanished for a while when she said she had been raped by a government official. We do still throw too many black people in jail, but perspective matters. China has basically jailed an entire ethnic minority, the Uyghurs, a situation that both the Trump and Biden administrations [have] called a genocide. America is not close to that. And it’s a cynical dodge to pretend that China’s sins should be overlooked because we all do it. No.”
“In America, we’re supposed to root for democratic government, not apologize for it,” Maher said. “But the NBA has a television deal with China worth a billion-and-a-half dollars. So, LeBron James said Morey needed to be ‘educated on the situation,’ the situation being, ‘I’ve got some shoes to sell.’”
“‘Kowtow’ is a Chinese word, but boy, Americans have gotten good at it,” Maher said, noting that companies gain access to Chinese markets only if they don’t upset the Chinese Communist Party. “That’s the deal China offers American companies and celebrities: We’ll give you access to our billion-plus consumers as long as you shut up about the whole police-state-genocide thing. John Cena took that deal. Well, c’mon. China accounts for 34% of global box office, and he’s a movie star now. So, like the Uyghurs, last year, he learned he needed to get some re-education. You see, John referred to Taiwan as a country, as if it was a separate country from China, which it is. But China would like to do to Taiwan what it did to Tibet and what it’s now doing to Hong Kong.”
“When a country can make your big muscly Macho Man action star grovel in their language, you know you’re somebody’s b****,” Maher said. “In the original ‘Top Gun,’ Tom Cruise wore a bomber jacket with the flags of several Asian countries that are our allies sewn on the back. Well, the flag for Taiwan has now magically disappeared for the upcoming ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ Well, he used to be a maverick. Now he does whatever China says.”
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) February 19, 2022
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