Bill Maher became the latest celebrity to cross picket lines after announcing his show's return to air amid the writer's strike.
Bill Maher crosses picket lines
“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher said on Instagram Wednesday. “It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. 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."
Maher implied he has contributed monetarily to his staff since the strike began in May, noting that "despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily," though he did not say what can been contributed or provide confirmation.
According to the Writer's Guild of America, any writing on shows — such as introductions, monologues, sketches, and questions for the show’s guests — violate the union's strike rules, as it replaces the work of union members. Maher said his show would still "honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces."
"And I’ll say it upfront to the audience: the show I will be doing without my writers will not be as good as our normal show, full stop," he confessed.
Maher himself is a member of the WGA. The Writers Guild of America West wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his decision was “disappointing.”
“It is difficult to imagine how Real Timecan go forward without a violation of WGA strike rules taking place. WGA will be picketing this show,” they stated.