The Problem With Jon Stewart, Bill Maher

Jon Stewart, host of “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Jon Stewart and Bill Maher are among the latest comedians to wade into the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s transphobic special.

Stewart’s comments came in an interview with TMZ while appearing on Capitol Hill. Maher’s comments came during his HBO series, Real Time with Bill Maher. The comments from Maher are no surprise since he blamed transgender rights for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton falling to Trump in November 2016.

Stewart on Chappelle:

“I know his intention is never hurtful. He’s not that kinda person.”

Has Jon Stewart even watched any of Chappelle’s comedy specials? Chappelle has been transphobic as far back as a few years ago. He doubles down in every special, even referring to himself as being on “Team TERF” in the new one. The latter comment comes while defending transphobic author J.K Rowling. There’s no way these comments are well-intentioned as Stewart apparently thinks. Transphobic jokes are not funny. They are hateful and only go onto harm the transgender community. Please evolve your comedy with the times. There is NOTHING funny about transphobic jokes.

And then you have Bill Maher telling the trans community to lighten up in his defense of Dave Chappelle. No, thank you, NEXT! Per reports, Maher says he doesn’t hate trans people at the same time as referring to himself as a Chappelle fan. Sorry but you cannot have it both ways. Either you support the trans community or you support transphobic comedians. Reminder, this man is the same man who gave a platform to Milo Yiannopoulos and then went onto SIDE WITH HIM in the bathroom debate. If this isn’t enough to display Maher’s own transphobia, he recently made a transphobic joke two weeks ago when discussing the new James Bond film! Bill Maher might say he doesn’t hate trans people but he is no different than Dave Chappelle. They are both transphobic bigots. HBO should really consider de-platforming Bill Maher. There’s no need for his vitriol in politics.

Listen, I come from a comedy background. I took improv classes before weirdly becoming a film critic and later coming out as transgender. I am so exhausted by comedians excusing transphobia. Jon Stewart and Bill Maher are wrong. Why don’t you listen to Bobcat Goldthwait? Goldthwait made his comments about “cancel culture” while discussing his new film, Joy Ride, in an interview with the Chicago Reader:

I actually don’t believe there’s a “cancel culture.” It just reminds me of like in the 80s when a shock jock would get fined by the FCC or get in trouble with management or a sponsor. They would say, “I’m getting killed by the man,” and then that person’s fans would rally behind them, and they would end up making millions of dollars.

When people use the term cancel culture, it’s just a way of people marginalizing marginalized groups, and it gives permission to their audience to feel like they’re the victim. No one’s freedom of speech is being taken away. All these millionaires are going to keep on making millions of dollars.

If it boils down to a millionaire and a major corporation versus people who are being murdered and have a high rate of suicide, which side do you think I’m going to be on? I’m going to be on the side of marginalized people. I’ve always considered myself an outsider, you know?

Listen to the likes of Bobcat Goldthwait. Unlike Stewart and Maher, he is in the right.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.