Bill Maher Defends Kirk Cameron and Others Who Offend
BY Lucas Grindley
March 22 2012 2:58 PM ET
Comedian Bill Maher is fed up with everyone getting offended by racially charged and antigay comments.
"When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like?" wrote Maher in a New York Times op-ed.
While Maher goes on to spend most of his time defending President Obama and his advisers and also Rush Limbaugh, he refers to Tracy Morgan and Kirk Cameron among the list of celebrities who didn't deserve the public ire they got.
"In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others," he wrote. "Who can keep up?"
Morgan apologized repeatedly after joking during a performance that he'd stab his son to death if he were gay and effeminate. The 30 Rock star's public turmoil later became the subject of a hilarious episode about Morgan, called "Idiots Are People Two!"
For his part, Cameron said during an interview on CNN that being gay is "unnatural" and bad for society. "I think that it's detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization," Cameron told Piers Morgan.
Maher's solution to all of this: "If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth."
It should be noted that Maher is a staunch supporter of LGBT rights. Most recently, he's begun talking about the ostracization he felt during school to draw attention to that form of bullying, specifically against kids who are perceived as LGBT.
The host of Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO has a history with the downsides of free speech that might contribute to his view. His ABC show, Politically Incorrect, was canceled when Maher lost advertisers for saying shortly after September 11 that it was the Americans who were "cowards" for the way we fight wars with bombs and airplanes, which many interpreted as antimilitary and a defense of the terrorists.
"I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone," he wrote in the Times. "That’s why we have Canada. That’s not us."