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Comedian Bill Maher announced on Wednesday that, despite the ongoing Hollywood strikes involving both the actors’ and writers’ unions, his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” would be returning the air.
Maher made the announcement in a post on X, saying that he intended to honor the ongoing strikes in every way that he could — but that bringing his show back was the best way to put as many people as he could back to work.
Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing. It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people…
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) September 14, 2023
“‘Real Time’ is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing. It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work,” Maher began. “The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns.”
Maher went on to say that although he had stepped in to help his staffers, many were still having a rough go of things after being out of work for such a long time.
“Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily. We all were hopeful this would come to an end after Labor Day, but that day has come and gone, and there still seems to be nothing happening,” Maher continued. “I love my writers, I am one of them, but I’m not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much.”
Maher concluded by explaining that he intended to drop some of the scripted portions of the show in an effort to stand with the writers who continued to strike — and he conceded that, without his regular writers, the show would not likely be as good as it had been in the past.
“I will honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on Real Time. And I’ll say it upfront to the audience: the show I will be doing without my writers will not be as good as our normal show, full stop,” he said. “But the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bullshit and predictable partisanship, and that will continue. The show will not disappoint.”