Real Time with Bill Maher.

“Real Time With Bill Maher” Is Returning Without His Writers

Real Time with Bill Maher.
Real Time with Bill Maher. Courtesy of HBO.

A few days after Drew Barrymore brought her talk show back without her writers, Bill Maher announced yesterday he’s doing the same with Real Time.

Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher wrote on Twitter. “It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work.”

He added, “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. Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily. We all were hopeful this would come to an end after Labor Day, but that day has come and gone, and there still seems to be nothing happening. I love my writers, I am one of them, but I’m not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much.”

“The show I will be doing without my writers will not be as good as our normal show, full stop,” Maher concluded. “But the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bullshit and predictable partisanship, and that will continue. The show will not disappoint.” Read his full statement below.

Maher is the first late night host to be returning to television since the strike started. The move was met with quite a bit of heated controversy, and the WGA issued a statement about the move.

What the WGA had to say about Bill Maher's return to late night.

They said “Bill Maher’s decision to go back on the air while his Guild is on strike is disappointing. If he goes forward with his plan, he needs to honor more than “the spirit of the strike.” As a WGA member, [Maher] is obligated to follow the strike rules and not perform any writing services. It is difficult to imagine how [the show] can go forward without a violation of WGA strike rules taking place. WGA will be picketing this show.”

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