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Bill Maher wasted no time sizing up both Donald Trump and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on Friday’s episode of Real Time.
The host opened the show with commentary on Trump’s ongoing public feud with the widow of a fallen solider, noting, “If you could take a week where it was revealed that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted every single female in show business and still be the worse fat, gross creep, that’s pretty good.”
With more women continuing to come forward with sexual-harassment allegations against Weinstein, Maher jokingly announced that Trump had “dropped to No. 2 on Forbes‘ list of disgusting sex predators.”
The Real Time host was then joined by guest Janice Min, former president/chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter, who weighed in on the “secrecy” surrounding the pervasive issue of harassment in Hollywood.
Citing examples of scandals at Penn State and within the Catholic Church and the White House, Min noted, “There are always people covering up for them or enabling.”
She added that the “feeding frenzy” over the allegations leveled against Weinstein is “all just sublimated anger towards Donald Trump,” who was elected president even after the infamous Access Hollywood audio leak.
Maher echoed similar sentiments, saying, “I’ve heard conservatives say it took a village to help Harvey Weinstein. It also took a village to elect the other sex predator.”
He noted that Weinstein’s alleged behavior toward women was more about having “power,” adding that he could have “lost 135,000 pounds, groomed, dressed fly, [been] considerate” and “gotten a woman to go to bed willingly.”
Maher then took the discussion beyond the industry, asking, “If it’s just like this in Hollywood, with rich, famous people — when do we get to the poor women in the country?”
He criticized the country’s inability to speak openly about the topic of harassment, bringing up the blowback Saturday Night Live and James Corden recently faced over how they chose to handle jokes about Weinstein. Corden issued an apology for making light of the sexual-harassment and assault allegations against Weinstein following public outrage.
“SNL didn’t do Harvey Weinstein jokes and got shit about it,” said Maher. “Then James Corden did some, and he got shit about it.”
Maher lamented, “We’re losing our ability to talk about things. It’s a terrible state for America to be in about any issue. We are just too afraid to talk.”
Allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Weinstein first surfaced in a bombshell exposé published by The New York Times, which revealed the mogul had reached at least eight settlements with women over harassment accusations. Just days later, The New Yorker released its own investigative report on Weinstein, adding claims of rape.
Over 40 women have come forward to share their own stories of harassment by Weinstein — including Lupita Nyong’o, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Headey, Lea Seydoux and Cara Delevingne — while others have spoken out about experiencing similar forms of harassment within the wider industry.
The ousted producer has since been terminated from The Weinstein Co. and is under investigation by the LAPD, NYPD and London Police. Amazon’s Roy Price, Vox Media’s Lockhart Steele and Nickelodeon animator Chris Savino are among the other executives who have been fired or suspended over sexual-harassment allegations in the wake of numerous claims against Weinstein.
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