“Enough with revisiting things. Stop being surprised every time you watch an old movie or TV show and find some of the ideas in it are – old.”
The late night host referenced a Vanity Fair article by actress Molly Ringwald in which she examined The Breakfast Club and other ’80s movies, “and found them troubling in the age of #MeToo.” Per a chiding Maher, “she said she was taken aback ‘by the scope of the ugliness’.”
“Oh please. They were teen comedies, not snuff films,” quipped Maher.
“She said, ‘It’s hard for me to understand how John [Hughes] was able to write with so much sensitivity, and also have such a glaring blind spot’.”
Maher faux-questioned what should be done – “dig him up and yell at him?”
“It’s nuts to blame someone for not being “woke” 30 years before “woke” became a thing. I remember the 80’s. Being ‘woke’ means you had too much cocaine.”
Maher sided with The Simpsons and their recent response to The Problem with Apu, quoting Marge Simpson:
“Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
“Exactly! What can you do?” exclaimed Maher. “Label us all degenerates for not already being who we would eventually become?”
“If you spend your time combing through old TV shows to identify stuff that by today’s standards looks bad, you’re not ‘woke’, you’re just a douchebag.”
“You can’t enjoy any music, movies or TV from ‘back when’ for any length of time without seeing something we just don’t do any more. But aren’t we adult enough to separate what we like about an old movie from what we don’t? We can watch Big as a movie about a kid who becomes an adult, not as a movie “about a grown woman who fucks a 12 year old.”
“The most beloved and wholesome act in history was The Beatles but even they wrote ‘She was just 17, you know what I mean,’ which today sounds a little Roy Moore-ish…We’re never finished evolving…no matter how ‘woke’ you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years: Beauty pageants, mass incarceration, putting our parents in old-age homes, how we treat animals.”
Maher, of course, is no stranger to controversy himself. Last year the host found himself in hot water after an “n-word” joke went awry.
What do you think of Bill Maher’s thoughts on looking back at the past? Is he right about being able to laugh at our past or is such continual analysis actually the thing that promotes change?