HBO host Bill Maher railed against cancel culture during his weekly cable program late Friday, earning rare praise from several conservatives who found themselves agreeing with the liberal comedian.
The host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” ended the latest episode of the series with a segment in which he reacted to several recent examples involving the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics currently occurring.
In one instance, Mr. Maher noted, the director of the opening ceremony, a fellow comedian, was fired days before the event last month after organizers learned that he made light of the Holocaust in 1998.
Mr. Maher also cited a case where another person involved with the opening ceremony, a 52-year-old composer, resigned after it emerged that he bragged decades earlier about bullying classmates as a kid.
“This is called a purge. It’s a mentality that belongs in Stalin’s Russia. How bad does this atmosphere we are living in have to get before people who say cancel culture is overblown admit that it is, in fact, an insanity that is swallowing up the world,” said Mr. Maher.
“That is not a conservative position, my friends. My politics have not changed, but I am reacting to politics that have,” Mr. Maher added.
Some prominent Republicans and conservatives suggested otherwise, however.
Jenna Ellis, a lawyer for former President Trump’s failed 2020 campaign, said that Mr. Maher is “getting pretty dang close to outright advocating to conserve America’s principles from the woke mob.”
“Good stuff,” Ms. Ellis reacted on Twitter.
“This is great,” agreed Candace Owens, another popular conservative social media user. “Woke people are cancer cells to progress.”
Robby Starbuck, a GOP congressional hopeful running to represent Tennesseans in the House, predicted from his Twitter account that Mr. Maher, 65, may “turn entirely on the Democratic Party” eventually.
“He knows deep down that the party from 20 years ago just simply doesn’t exist anymore,” Mr. Starbuck tweeted. “It’s time to stop pretending they do Bill. Times have changed, leave them to save America.”