Once Transgressive Bill Maher Called Transphobic After Jenner Remarks

Sunday April 25, 2021

Bill Maher
Bill Maher  (Source:Associated Press)

Twenty years ago, Bill Maher was ahead of the curve by being transgressive; today, he's being called out for being transphobic after his comments about Caitlyn Jenner on the day she announced her candidacy for Governor of California. When he turned to the subject of Jenner in his monologue on his HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday night, he said, "I know you think of her as a reality show star, but come on, people change. She is trans, rested and ready.'

He followed it with, "She's got a great slogan: take the 'sack' out of Sacramento." making a jab at her 2015 transition.

He turned to address Jenner's politics: "But Caitlyn Jenner is a very lifelong Republican. I love that about her," again referring to her being trans. 'Wasn't always sure about the man-woman thing, but low capital-gains taxes, born that way!'

Maher then joked: "And a lot of people, of course, are saying, 'Isn't it strange for a trans woman to be in a party that is passing anti-trans laws all over the country?'"

The joke's punch-line was: "'And Caitlyn said, 'Yeah, I get that. It's just something about being in a party that doesn't respect me that makes me feel like I'm home with the Kardashians.'"

Maher has previously hit out at Jenner, writes the Daily Mail. "He also mocked her in the past saying: 'Bruce Jenner is an idiot. Adding t**s didn't make him a genius.'"

In 2017 the Daily Beast reported how when Maher had ex-gay, alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos on his show. During the Overtime segment of the show, Yiannopoulos said: "I think women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities from their bathrooms." To which Maher agreed, responding, "That's not unreasonable." Later, Maher described the trans bathroom debate as "weirdos peeing."

The Daily Beast notes that this exchange took place immediately before President Trump, under pressure from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, "rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity,' according to The New York Times. The protections were put in place under the Obama administration."

On his show the following week, Maher did not take back his comments with Yiannopoulos. Instead made jokes about the trans bathroom issue.

"This was the first relatively slow news week we've had in the Trump era. We're back to talking about who can pee in what bathroom. I consider that a small victory," joked Maher during his monologue.

"Under Obama, of course, he made an order that said transgender students could pee where they wanted. Trump, this week, rescinded," Maher continued. "Trump believes men shouldn't be in the same room with women peeing unless you're paying for it."

He then turned his target to Jenner, who had criticized the federal government's trans ruling in a video calling it a "disaster."

"It looks like he's lost Caitlyn Jenner on this issue. Yeah, she's very mad at him. Of course, she's a transgender Republican," said Maher. "You know, I don't really give a crap where you crap, and I fully support the LGBLTAEOU and sometimes Y movement, but a transgender Republican? That's just weird."

"What [Jenner] said was, 'President Trump, from one Republican to another, this is a disaster.' I love the self-centeredness of this—where she draws the line. You know, Bruce Jenner was an idiot. Adding tits didn't make him a genius," added Maher, before mimicking Jenner: "Trump's stormtroopers are pulling 16-year-old Mexican kids out of classrooms to send them to Mexico. That's OK. But mess with my right to pee? Shame on you, sir!"

The Daily Beast added, "The trans bathroom debate—and any discrimination against the trans community—is no laughing matter. There are approximately 1.4 million transgender people in the U.S., and they are subject to terrible conditions."

On Twitter, comedian, writer and YouTube host Akilah Hughes may have had the best constructive criticism:

He also got one tweet in support from someone who identifies as trans:

But he was otherwise slammed: