“Roseanne” fans have called on HBO to fire “Real Time” host Bill Maher in response to the comedian’s jokes that President Trump was part orangutan.
ABC quickly canceled the successful “Roseanne” reboot Tuesday hours after its star, Roseanne Barr, posted a racist tweet about former President Obama’s aide Valerie Jarrett. The tweet said Jarrett, who is African-American and born in Iran, is like the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.” Barr apologized for the tweet before her show was canceled. The next day, she appeared to blame the prescription pill Ambien for the tweet.
Following ABC's announcement, Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, a right-wing nonprofit group, tweeted, “Wait, Bill Maher makes comparisons to Trump being a gorilla all the time? They get classified as ‘jokes’ by the media and he is of course allowed to keep his show and not have his life ruined. The difference? Bill Maher is a liberal, Roseanne is a free-thinking Trump supporter.”
However, some social media users pointed out that Trump sued Maher after he made a joke on Jay Leno’s late-night talk show that he would “offer $5 million to Donald Trump that he can donate to a charity of his choice” if he could prove his father was not an orangutan. Maher joked Trump appeared to be an orangutan because they both had similar hair color, Reuters reported. Trump withdrew the lawsuit against Maher eight weeks after filing it.
Social media users also pointed out that Maher’s show “Politically Incorrect” was dropped by ABC in 2002 following comments he made about the Sept. 11. 2001 terror attacks. The comedian argued that “the labeling of terrorists as cowards was hypocritical, and that we have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away,” Bustle reported.
Bustle noted Maher’s name was trending on Twitter and was mentioned more than 54,000 times. Maher has not immediately commented on the backlash.
He came under fire in June 2017 after tweeting, "This [North] Korean thing is getting tense! I mean, I think it is, I'm on vaca. The ladies at my nail salon are freaking out, that's what I know!"
Maher was also criticized a month earlier when he called himself a "house n----r" on his HBO show in June 2017.
Maher apologized for the expletive and HBO later removed his comment from future airings of the episode calling it "inexcusable."