Opinion

Why Bill Maher should be taken off the air

HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher’s recent foray into sexism — employing the terms “dumb twat,” “bimbos,” and “c*nt” in describing Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Sarah Palin — is completely unacceptable and should not be allowed to be part of our country’s national dialogue. That is why The New Agenda, a national organization devoted to improving the lives of women and girls, is calling on Time Warner, owner of HBO, to immediately cancel Bill Maher’s show and terminate his employment.

Mr. Maher has a track record of making sexist comments against women in power.

In February 2008, Maher made light of David Shuster’s Chelsea “pimp” comment by saying (emphasis added):

Now they fined CBS a million dollars, a million dollars, for Janet Jackson’s nipple. Think what they could get for Hillary Clinton’s c*nt.”

For this, Mr. Maher was almost fired by HBO. He should have learned from his mistake, but he clearly did not. In fact, Mr. Maher’s most recent string of vulgar comments has little to do with political party, and everything to do with his utter contempt for women.

Mr. Maher’s use of the terms dumb twat, bimbos, and c*nt hurts not only Rep. Bachmann and Gov. Palin, but each and every mother, daughter and wife.

Mr. Maher’s statements reveal his belief that rather than criticizing or questioning a woman on her positions or ideas, it is acceptable and appropriate to demean and diminish her by sexualizing her or presuming that, because she’s a woman, she’s unintelligent.

Mr. Maher’s comments have no place in our national dialogue and he should be taken off the air immediately.

If you agree, please sign our online petition to fire Mr. Maher.

Amy Siskind is the President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.