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Bill Maher Says “Woke” Tokyo Olympics Is Riddled With Cancel Culture On ‘Real Time’

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Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, which returned to the air after a month’s break, the HBO host claimed that the Toyko Summer Olympic Games have outdone the Oscars when it comes to cancel culture. “Please don’t make the Olympics into the Oscars,” Bill Maher begged during his New Rules segment of the show.

Back in April, Maher had said the theme of the 2021 Oscars was, “We dare you to be entertained,” he reminded his viewers. The producers of the Hollywood event, he complained, left no stone unturned when it came to injustices and human error.

Maher (who was sporting a new pair of glasses) feels the International Olympic Committee have pressed even harder than Hollywood. He then referenced a number of instances where the “woke” committee punished officials and creative staffers over decades-old behavior. The director of the opening ceremony, for example, was fired over a Holocaust joke he did during a comedy routine decades ago.

The opening ceremony’s musical director was also fired over a 1994 interview in which he admitted to bullying fellow students in school when he was a kid. “Remember when your teacher used to try to scare you, they’d say, ‘You know, this is going to go down on your permanent record,’” he said. “No longer an empty threat now.”

He then took a jab at the media coverage of surfing becoming an Olympic sport in Tokyo. Even The Associated Press published an article with “whitewashed” in the headline that claimed adding surfing as an Olympic sport exacerbates cultural appropriation and “racial indignities.” The reasoning behind this claim is that non-Hawaiians have popularized and mainstreamed a sport that has deep spiritual and communal meaning for its founders.

Although he continued joking, Maher’s tone was firm when with regard to making his points.

“This is called a purge,” Maher said of cancel culture in the United States and around the world. “It’s a mentality that belongs in Stalin’s Russia. How bad does this atmosphere we are living in have to get before people who say cancel culture is overblown have to admit that it is, in fact, an insanity that is swallowing up the world.”

Maher stated, in an effort to clarify that he is not taking a right-wing stance, “My politics have not changed, but I am reacting to politics that have.”

The negative media coverage coming out of the Olympics, he continued, is “yet another example of how the woke invert the very thing that used to make liberals liberals. ‘Snitches and bitches’: That’s not being liberal.”

Maher does feel that “most of human history is a horror story,” however siloing cultures sets us back from progress. “The good parts are groups coming together and sharing. It’s sort of the whole point of the Olympics,” he jabbed.

The concept of the Olympic Games itself, he pointed out, originated in Greece. He then proceeded to name a list of sports and their places of origin, including badminton in India, tennis in France taekwondo in Korea. “What is this new rule that the first to do something are the only ones who get to have it?!” he pondered.

He concluded with an attempt to clarify cultural exploitation versus cancel culture. “Stealing natural resources from indigenous people — yes, of course, that’s exploitation,” he said, however, “Not everything is about oppression.”

Cultures have shared ideals in other directions, too, he added. K-pop bands like BTS became popular in the U.S. by making Western pop music, not by playing songs that are influenced by traditional Korean culture.

“We live in a world where straight actors are told they can’t play gay roles and a white novelists aren’t allowed to imagine what it’s like to be a Mexican immigrant,” Maher said. “Even though trying to inhabit the life of someone else is almost the definition of empathy, the bedrock of liberalism.”

Michael is a music and television junkie keen on most things that are not a complete and total bore. You can follow him on Twitter — @Tweetskoor

Stream Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO Max

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