Bill Maher: Cancel culture and woke mobs need to be stopped

Bill Maher (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
Bill Maher (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images) /

Bill Maher is no stranger to saying controversial things during his 40-year career and he knows it comes with the territory of being a public figure. But now the Real Time host says that no one is safe from having any past mistake used against them or blown out of proportion due to the age of cancel culture and woke mobs.

The internet, and more specifically social media, has made it so that much of our daily lives are documented and archived. It also means that as norms change and the definitions of what is acceptable evolve, past actions can look pretty bad.

Bill Maher has no problem with this nor does he think that actually offensive and reprehensible behavior should be permitted. But the comedian wants a little nuance brought to the discussion when it comes to “canceling” someone.

As he explained last night in Real Time‘s “New Rule” segment, people need to be allowed to make mistakes and not have their lives ruined. It doesn’t matter if it is Gina Carano, a Bachelor contestant, or a random guy driving his truck. Maher says it’s time to stand up to woke mobs.

Bill Maher wants people to stop apologizing because mobs tell them to

Anyone who has watched Real Time with Bill Maher for any length of time knows that Bill Maher strongly opposes political correctness and the hyper-sensitivity he says exhibited by liberals. Everything from Halloween to elections has been negatively influenced by “wokeness” according to Maher. It was just last year that Maher called on liberals to stop judging people’s past behavior by today’s standards.

In many cases, the only way to get out from under the microscope is to apologize. Recently, celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Chris Harrison have issued public apologies after facing backlash for past transgressions and comments. Maher refuses to accept this as the right thing to do and instead calls for more people to “stand their ground.”

There is no denying that mob mentality comes with its own set of dangers. Social media makes it easy for both the truth and misconceptions to spread quickly. Countless articles, essays, and op-eds have been written about cancel culture. Even former President Barack Obama has criticized it. Altogether, it means that this is a complex topic that has valid points on all sides.

But Bill Maher lays out his argument in under seven minutes. He cites polls indicating that a majority of Americans are afraid to share their political beliefs and oppose the sensitive climate we live in. He argues that nobody stands up to it because it’s safer to just join the mob. Anyone considering breaking out of that mold will have Bill Maher with them.

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What did you think of Bill Maher’s “New Rule” segment on cancel culture? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.