'Last Week Tonight' Rips Maternity Leave Gap, Airs Honest Mother's Day Ad: "Get the F— Back to Work" (Video)

"You can’t go on and on about how much you love mothers and then fail to support legislation that makes life easier for them."
HBO/Screenshot
'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver'

John Oliver reminded Last Week Tonight viewers that Mothers' Day is a pretty hypocritical time of year.

The host pointed out how American companies run so many ads of gift ideas and commemorative gestures for consumers' matriarchs, and yet is one of two countries that do not offer paid time off for new mothers — along with Papua New Guinea.

"That's as unlikely a pairing as Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon," joked Oliver of the Hot Pursuit duo. "Separately great, but if it’s just the two of them with no one else, it makes you feel as if one of them has taken their eye off the ball — Reese."

He noted how women then have to figure out how to take some kind of maternity leave by using sick days and vacation time, and must make hard decisions about how to spend their time if a baby is born prematurely. And new fathers don't get too much time off either, as New York Mets player Daniel Murphy was memorably blasted for using his paternity leave and missing games.

"There are women who want to get back to work as soon as they can, and that's obviously fine, but for many women, the current situation forces them to return well before they want to," he said, explaining how too few states have laws that support paid maternity leave.

"You can’t go on and on about how much you love mothers and then fail to support legislation that makes life easier for them," he said before airing an honest version of a Mothers' Day ad, featuring America Ferrera and discussing how working moms tackle things like breastfeeding and resting while on the job.

"Mothers — we owe everything to them. They gave birth to us, they nurtured us, they made us who we are. And this Mothers' Day, we have just one thing to say to all the mothers out there. Get the f— back to work."

Watch the segment below.

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