Bill Maher took to social media Sept. 13 to announce that his show “Real Time” will return, despite the ongoing writer’s strike.
“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work,” he said. He noted that his political talk show has been paused for far too long and simply needs to resume, regardless of the Hollywood strike. “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,” he said.
Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing. 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…
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) September 14, 2023
Maher made it clear that he empathized with the writers that are continuing to strike, but said other people were relying on him to resume production.
He went on to provide the reasons that led him to come to this decision.
“Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily,” he said.
“We all were hopeful this would come to an end after Labor Day, but that day has come and gone, and there still seems to be nothing happening.”
Maher explained how things will be adjusted for his unexpected return.
“I love my writers, I am one of them, but I’m not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much,” he said.
“I will honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on Real Time. 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 said. (RELATED: Drew Barrymore Defies Writers Strike, Launches New Season Of Her Talk Show)
“But the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bullshit and predictable partisanship, and that will continue.”
He concluded by saying, “the show will not disappoint.”
Hollywood writers have been on strike since since May 2, and were joined by SAG-AFTRA actors on July 14, marking the most unprecedented Hollywood strike in recent years.