Comedian commentator Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," said on social media Monday that he will hold off restarting the show during the writer's strike because both sides are heading back to the negotiating table.
"My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike," Maher posted on X. "Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table, I'm going to delay the return of 'Real Time,' for now, and hope they can finally get this done."
Maher faced harsh criticism for announcing he would return to the show as the Writer's Guild of America strike that started in May, halting production of many television shows and movies, continued.
"Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing. It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work," Maher initially said on Instagram last week. "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."
Countdown podcast host, and former MSNBC broadcaster Keith Olbermann hit Maher hard with his own social media post on X, calling Maher a "selfish, unfunny scumbag."
"Without writers, the new weekly SCAB edition of 'Real Time with Bill Maher' will be 83 seconds long," Olbermann said in the post.
Entertainment Weekly reports that the strike has gone on for 136 days, approaching the March 7-Aug. 7, 1988, work stoppage, which is the longest so far.
Fellow talk show host Drew Barrymore, who was also in production during the strike, reversed course Sunday, announcing that her show would stop as the strike continues, Reuters reported Sunday.
"I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show's premiere until the strike is over," she said in a statement on her Instagram account. "[My] deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt."
The Hollywood Reporter published a story Friday saying that a meeting between showrunners and the guild scheduled for Friday was scrapped due to the Rosh Hashana holiday and news from Thursday that union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers were going back to the negotiating table.
"The good news is that they're meeting and that's all anybody wants — and hopefully that's enough," a source told the news outlet.
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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