Bill Maher Bashes WGA Strike Demands: No One Is ‘Owed a Living as a Writer’

Club Random with Bill Maher Podcast (Credit: YouTube)

Bill Maher is questioning what he calls “kooky” demands by the Writers Guild of America, with the union’s strike now surpassing 120 days.

The WGA work stoppage began on May 2, while actors represented by SAG-AFTRA started walking the picket line on July 14.

Both unions are calling for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP ), which represents Disney, Amazon, Netflix, Paramount, Sony , NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. Discovery, to increase residuals from streaming and set new rules limiting the use of artificial intelligence technology. The WGA additionally wants industry standards on the number of writers assigned to each TV show.

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On the Sunday (Sept. 3) episode of the “Club Random with Bill Maher” podcast, Maher told fellow comic and actor Jim Gaffigan he has doubts about the WGA’s demands.

“They’re asking for a lot of things that are, like, kooky,” Maher said.

“What I find objectionable about the philosophy of the strike, it seems to be, they have really morphed a long way from the 2007 strike, where they kind of believe that you’re owed a living as a writer, and you’re not. This is show business. This is the make-or-miss league,” he continued.

Maher’s late-night HBO talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, wrapped up its latest season in April before the WGA strike began.

Gaffigan praised Maher’s show, but said he thinks the dual strikes could “kill” late-night programs on network TV.

Gaffigan noted that viewers like hearing hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert  offer their “take” on the events of the day. But after so much time without new shows, viewers may not return.

Maher said he thinks the network shows are too predictable, and he doesn’t understand how they’ve survived this long. He also criticized the hosts as being too liberal.

“It’s not a take. Those guys don’t have takes. I have takes… What they do is say exactly what a liberal audience wants them to say,” he stated.

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Maher said he supports his writers, but businesses that depend on the entertainment industry are suffering financial losses because of the dual strikes.

“I feel for my writers. I love my writers. I’m one of my writers, but there’s a big other side to it, and a lot of people are being hurt besides them. A lot of people that don’t make as much money as them,” he said.

Gaffigan said he agrees with “a lot of the grievances” writers have.

The two comedians also talked about the Kardashians, dating and celebrity marriage.

Watch the video below. The portion about the WGA strike starts at 22:15.