In a surprising turn of events, American comedian Bill Maher announced on Monday that he would be postponing the return of his hit HBO show, "Real Time With Bill Maher." This decision came just days after Maher had initially stated that the show would resume despite the ongoing screenwriters' strike against Hollywood studios. However, with contract negotiations between the studios and the striking screenwriters set to resume this week, Maher had a change of heart.
Taking to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Maher explained that his earlier decision to restart the show had been made when he believed there was no end in sight to the strike. But now that negotiations were set to resume, he felt it was necessary to delay the show's return. Maher, who is a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), expressed hope that the negotiations would finally bring an end to the strike.
Maher's decision to postpone the show followed similar reversals from other talk show hosts, including Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Hudson. Over the weekend, Barrymore announced that she would be pausing the restart of her talk show, "The Drew Barrymore Show," after facing significant backlash. Notably, she was dropped as the host of the National Book Awards due to the controversy surrounding her decision. Initially, Barrymore had announced that her show would be returning despite the strike, but she later apologized for any hurt caused and stated that the premiere would be delayed until the strike was over.
Following Barrymore's announcement, other shows such as "The Jennifer Hudson Show," produced by Warner Bros., and "The Talk," which airs on CBS, also rolled back their decisions to broadcast new episodes. The impact of the strikes on the entertainment industry is becoming increasingly apparent as more shows and hosts reconsider their plans amidst the ongoing labor disputes.
The Writers Guild of America, which has been on strike against Hollywood studios since May, has been at the forefront of the protests. They have made it clear that they are committed to fighting for their demands and have organized picket lines and demonstrations to bring attention to their cause. The union had previously expressed concerns about Maher's decision to restart his show, stating that it would be difficult for him to comply with strike rules while hosting the program. In response, the WGA announced that its members would picket the filming of Maher's show.
This latest development in the ongoing strikes raises questions about the future of talk shows and the entertainment industry as a whole. With prominent hosts like Maher, Barrymore, and Hudson reconsidering their plans, it seems that the industry is feeling the pressure from the striking unions. As negotiations between the WGA and the studios resume this week, all eyes will be on the outcome, as the fate of countless shows and the livelihoods of below-the-line workers hang in the balance.