Comedian Bill Maher defended his comments comparing President Donald Trump to an orangutan on Friday, saying that it was nothing like the tweet that got Roseanne Barr fired earlier in the week.
Roseanne, in a now-deleted tweet, compared former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
Maher delivered the explanation as part of his monologue on HBO’s “Real Time,” in response to criticisms suggesting that Maher only got away with comparing Trump to an orangutan because he happens to be liberal.
“Roseanne has said she has multiple personalities – and unfortunately one of them is quite a racist. It’s also not a mystery to me how a person with mental illness could be taken in by a party that has lost its mind.” – @BillMaher #RealTime pic.twitter.com/8cX66Vm0TK
— Real Time (@RealTimers) June 2, 2018
Maher explained that his joke was acceptable because, “One, Trump is an orangutan.” But then he also explained why Roseanne’s tweet had been so problematic, saying, “Two, white people have not been subjected to a racist trope comparing them to apes for hundreds of years.” (RELATED: Where Was The Apology For Trump? — Sarah Sanders’ Responds To Roseanne Question)
Maher also noted two additional key points — that the joke was referencing Trump’s own call for proof that former President Barack Obama was born in the United States, and that he himself had already been fired by ABC.