Bill Maher took on cancel culture during his “New Rules” segment on Friday’s edition of HBO’s “Real Time”, joking that the phenomenon has become so pervasive that if things keep progressing it could result in the hashtag #GodIsOverParty.
Maher began the segment by discussing Ryan Reynolds’ recent apology for the location of his 2012 wedding to Blake Lively, which took place on a Southern plantation where slaves once laboured.
As Maher pointed out, even the Bible has some awkward passages that wouldn’t exactly be embraced right now, citing Colossians 3:22, Ephesians 6:5 and Peter 2:18, which encourage slaves to “submit to your masters.”
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Maher added that America’s racist history pretty much guarantees that everyone is “six degrees from genocidal a**holes. If we start turning history into a game of guilt by association it never ends.”
He continued by serving up some examples, noting that the New York Stock Exchanges is just “two miles from New York’s first slave market,” while the country’s name originated from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian merchant who enslaved the indigenous people he encountered.
Also, noted Maher, “Washington and Jefferson are also up for cancellation because they owned slaves.”
In fact, Maher insisted that if cancel culture were to remain fair and consistent, “I think we’re going to cancel God.”
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While the mistakes of the past shouldn’t be repeated, Maher added, neither should they be ignored. “We can’t just pack up our government and pretend this country never happened,” he said, and offered his own common-sense solution.
“Here’s a crazy idea: Let’s live in the present and make the future better,” he quipped.