Bill Maher Doesn’t Get the Criticism of Harrison Butker’s Sexist, Homophobic Speech

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Reuters and Courtesy of HBO
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Reuters and Courtesy of HBO

Bill Maher said he doesn’t understand the backlash to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s graduation speech at Benedictine College, in which the footballer said being gay was a “deadly sin” and lectured female graduates on the importance of being homemakers.

On the latest episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, the late night host made it clear that he doesn’t share Butker’s personal enthusiasm for things like marriage, religion, and children. “I couldn’t be more not like this,” Maher said.

But Maher wasn’t convinced that the outrage about Butker’s comments towards women were well-founded.

“I don’t get the thing he said, talking to women, ‘Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world.’ Okay, that seems fairly modern,” Maher said.

“‘But I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.’ I don’t see what the big crime is, I really don’t,” he added.

Maher then said that he believed the backlash was indicative of a greater problem within the American left, which he characterized as hostile to anyone who willfully chose a tradwife path.

Harrison Butker’s Tradwife Fantasy World Would Be a Disaster

“I think this is part of the problem people have with the left, is that lots of people in this country are like this. Like he’s saying some of you may go on to successful careers, but a lot of you are excited about this other way that people, everybody used to be and now can.

“Can’t that just be a choice too? And I feel like they feel very put upon, like there’s only one way to be a good person and that’s to get an advanced degree from one of those asshole factories like Harvard.”

Maher, however, didn’t mention the part of Butker’s speech that most riled audiences beyond the tiny conservative college it was meant for. Butker encouraged female graduates to embrace “one of the most important titles of all: homemaker,” and held up his wife as a shining example.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” Butker told the audience.

He also described the “promotions and titles you’re going to get in your career” as some of the “most diabolical lies” the women in the audience had been told.

Butker’s comments were so affective that representatives from the NFL and Kansas City took steps to distance the respective entities from Butker (although the latter was later deemed an ‘unauthorized’ tweet). Those in Butker’s hometown also noted the kicker’s apparent failure to read the room.

“The comment is being made at a commencement where women have really worked hard for their degrees and to use them. So I can understand that women may feel that that achievement is being minimized,” Rhonda Schwartz, the parent of one of Butker’s former schoolmates, said.

Maher, for his part, chose to end his defense of Butker with a left-field swipe at college graduates at large.

“I find it very ironic that he’s saying, you know what, in my world, we like the women to stay at home and just have babies, and the college kids and the young people find this absolutely abhorrent, but they’re demonstrating for Hamas,” Maher said.

He flippantly referred to the student protests that have taken place on college campuses for weeks, sometimes at graduations, for an end to the mass starvation and bombing in Gaza.

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