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It is with a heavy heart that we inform you Bill Maher is being problematic, again. On Friday night, the host welcomed 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson onto his show, Real Time with Bill Maher, where he lavished the spirituality guru with praise in an overwhelmingly fawning interview. And, predictably, got called out for it later.
Right off the bat, Maher gushed that Williamson was “too interesting to run for president,” before congratulating her on being the most Googled candidate following this week’s presidential debates. Williamson did indeed get people talking with her impassioned defense of the Flint water crisis–however, her pseudoscience and new-age positions on modern medicine continue to worry her detractors. Maher made sure to bring this up.
“Alright, so, mental health … now again, I’m with you on this,” he said, before launching into a diatribe on a recent New York Times article for negatively characterizing her views on medicine.
“I agree with everything,” Maher said, defending his guest. “Mrs. Williamson has criticized the widespread use of antidepressants … I’m down with that!”
“[You] called the distinction between ordinary sadness and clinical depression artificial,” he continued. “I think that’s a bit of a mischaracterization, but you do say yes, we over-prescribe these drugs and sadness is a part of life. You don’t always need a pill, isn’t that your basic thrust?”
“There is a spectrum of normal human despair. Someone that you loved died, you went through a divorce, you had a bankruptcy or a financial failure … There are all sorts of severe disappointments in life, but they’re not a mental illness,” she said.
Maher later closed out the show by issuing a stern warning to Democrats, essentially to not “fuck this up” in 2020. He joked several times over the course of the six-minute segment that he personally had spent the past month using marijuana to cope with Donald Trump’s presidency.
Noting the poor approval rating for a president during a good economy, Maher suggested that moderates with Trump fatigue might vote against the economy just to get back to some semblance of normalcy. But, he warned, “they won’t trade it away for left-wing extremism.”
“All the Democrats have to do to win is to come off less crazy than Trump, and, of course, they’re blowing it,” he quipped. “Coming across as unserious people who are going to take away all your money so migrants from Honduras can go to college for free and get a major in ‘America sucks.'”
Between endorsing a fringe candidate, while calling her opponents “crazy,” and denouncing prescription antidepressants, while boasting about his own use of recreational drug use to combat anxiety, it would appear that Maher has really outdone himself. Plenty of people on Twitter were more than happy to point that out.
Bill Maher: “All the Democrats have to do to win is to come off less crazy than Trump, and of course, they’re blowing it.”— Adam Best (@adamcbest) August 3, 2019
Bill Maher to Marianne Williamson: “I agree with everything.”
This was on the same show. 🤦♂️
Bill Maher and Marianne Williamson discussing the fact that people don't really need antidepressants. To both I say pic.twitter.com/RPiHeOnZ7A— theinspiredquilter (@inspiredquilter) August 3, 2019
How can Bill Maher be against anti-depressant when he smokes weed every day just so he can cope? https://t.co/Dw4Y3LJ0Gv— Sean Kent (@seankent) August 3, 2019
Bill Maher: The Dems are looking too crazy.— Jason P. (@JasonP_YYC) August 3, 2019
Also Bill Maher: Please welcome my next guest Marianne Williamson.
Depression is not "sadness." It's not a bad mood or a temporary lack of happiness.— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) August 3, 2019
It is dread. It is worry, stress, and fear. It's good times being ruined by horrible thoughts and bad times amplified tenfold.
I wouldn't wish my depression on my worst enemy. Fuck Bill Maher.
Bill Maher says 2020 Dems just need to come across less crazy than Trump - then proceeds to jump on the Marianne Williamson train. pic.twitter.com/nlgcOixfog— Ryan Boger (@rboger12) August 3, 2019
With all that was said, it was nearly overlooked that Maher also said that he hopes for a recession to boot Trump out of office.
Bill Maher: “I’ve been hoping for a recession – people hate me for it – but it would get rid of Trump.”— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 3, 2019
Josh Barro: “Recessions are really bad. People lose their jobs and homes and we shouldn’t wish for it.”
Maher: “I know. It’s worth it.” pic.twitter.com/Ysc2LhHbs2
Others are just wondering why, in 2020, anyone cares what Maher has to say in the first place.
*sees Bill Maher is trending* pic.twitter.com/4hL1I8FROx— K Law (@Katstitution) August 3, 2019
Everyone to bill maher the minute he says anything pic.twitter.com/kLqZh2OCR7— cap’n stabbin (@average_tanking) August 3, 2019
It's the year 2020 of our Lord and people are still tuning in and listening to Bill Maher. pic.twitter.com/xSljFb76Fx— The Tyler (@TyFromTheSky) August 3, 2019
How we’re this far into cancel culture and somehow Bill Maher is still out there, blasting his problematic opinions, is anyone’s best guess.
- Marianne Williamson tells a child the hard truth about her cat: ‘It died’
- Marianne Williamson’s old tweets about medicine are back to haunt her
- Marianne Williamson’s impassioned defense of Flint was her breakout moment
Got five minutes? We’d love to hear from you. Help shape our journalism and be entered to win an Amazon gift card by filling out our 2019 reader survey.
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.