Bill Maher reverses, says he’ll pause show’s return as writers strike talks resume
Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher announced Monday that he will not be resuming his show for the time being — a reversal of his decision last week to restart “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO despite the ongoing writers strike.
“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike. Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of Real Time, for now, and hope they can finally get this done,” Maher wrote on a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Maher joins talk-show host Drew Barrymore, who on Sunday also reversed her decision to bring back her show during the strike. Both hosts faced sharp backlash for resuming their shows, with critics accusing them of not standing in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
Maher’s announcement comes a week after he revealed he was planning on restarting his show.
“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher wrote in a post on X last week. “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 with issues, problems, and concerns.”
The strike began in May after failed contract negotiations between the WGA and the studio chiefs of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Actors joined writers on the picket lines in July, leaving Hollywood at a standstill for months.
Maher’s reversal also comes as contract talks are set to resume this week, which could end the months-long strike if the two sides reach an agreement.