Bill Maher Vigorously Defends Louis C.K. and Woody Allen

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

On the latest episode of tech journalist Kara Swisher’s podcast On, wannabe shock jock Bill Maher continued his trend of—in the words of his fellow podcast enthusiast, The 1975 lead singer and Taylor Swift ex-boyfriend Matty Healy—seemingly “saying controversial things just for the hell of it.”

Swisher and Maher got into a predictable back-and-forth about cancel culture, prompting Swisher to bring up Louis C.K., who’s evolved over the years from a prominent comedian into a reliable citation in arguments about who deserves to make art in public after admitting to doing horrible things—in his case masturbating in front of several women without their consent.

Discussing a chapter in Maher’s new book What This Comedian Said Will Shock You about “woke culture,” Swisher prompted Maher, “There’s people who are supposedly canceled by the left, like Louis C.K., who are still out there performing at Madison Square Garden, feels like he’s doing well.”

“Not the way he should be,” Maher countered. “He can’t do nearly everything he would like to do because if he does, it’ll start it all over again. And then they’ll start talking about, you know, whatever the crime was to begin with.”

After five women accused C.K. of sexual misconduct, he admitted shortly afterwards that their stories were true.

“Which, you know, by his own admission, it wasn’t a cool thing to do,” Maher continued. “But really, do we have to punish him for the whole rest of his life? He has kids, he doesn’t want them to have to deal with it all the time. I mean, does everybody have to live by the worst moment they ever had in their life? So yes, he can play anywhere in the world. He’s got a huge fan base and sell tickets and he can put his movies online and sell them directly. But that’s not the way show business is normally done.”

Maher then compared C.K. to disgraced filmmaker Woody Allen.

“Woody Allen can’t get a movie made in this country,” Maher said. “Because even after two investigations, which exonerated him and the Hollywood community decided he was history’s greatest monster and that he was a child molester and that we could not even countenance him putting out a movie or talking about it or seeing him in any way. Now, if that’s not cancel culture, I don’t know what is.”

To be fair, Maher later conceded that the right is just as guilty of perpetrating “cancel culture” as the left, citing Colin Kaepernick as a prime example. “Nobody was ever canceled harder than Colin Kaepernick,” Maher said of the former pro quarterback who was kicked to the curb by the NFL after kneeling for the National Anthem. “So yes, it does happen on both sides.”

Everyone Loves Bill Burr Telling Bill Maher He Is Full of Sh*t

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.