Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher said he will resume his show, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” on HBO despite the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.
“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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.”
Maher said he was hopeful the strikes would come to an end by Labor Day and noted 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,” Maher wrote. “I will honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, ‘New Rules’ or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on ‘Real Time.’”
Maher said he would tell the audience upfront the show without his writers will not be “as good” as the normal show.
“But the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bull**** and predictable partisanship, and that will continue. The show will not disappoint,” Maher continued.
The strike by members of the 11,000-member Writers Guild of America (WGA) began in May after failed contract negotiations with the studio chiefs of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
The strike marks the longest strike in WGA history and has paused TV and film productions in Hollywood for more than 100 days.
SAG-AFTRA, the largest union for Hollywood actors, joined the strike two months later in July after failing to reach an agreement with film studios, marking the first dual strike since 1960.
Both unions are demanding better wages and working conditions as well as higher residual rates related to streaming.
Many late-night shows including NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” remain out of production as a result.
A group of late-night TV hosts announced last month they would come together on a new podcast that seeks to financially boost staffers impacted by the writer’s strike.
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