Close Call but Bill Made the Right Call

Olivier Pilon
3 min readSep 20, 2023

The series Real Time with Bill Maher won’t resume just yet amid the writers’ strike.

The television talk show Real Time with Bill Maher started in 2003, and still airs to this day. Photo courtesy of HBO

Only fools don’t change their minds. That’s something we’ve heard before.

Earlier this week, the comedian and political satirist Bill Maher proved this saying again when he decided to postpone the return of his popular show, Real Time with Bill Maher. Drew Barrymore and others took the same approach with their respective shows.

Bill Maher had previously said that he would film the HBO TV show despite the writers’ strike. An option was to rearrange the show and cut parts of the New Rule segment. Understandably, people were quite angry by his decision to go ahead and ignore the writer’s demands to the industry.

In the end, rationality won against emotions. He realized that he needed to wait, and take the side of the writers and his other colleagues in the industry who are pausing the filming on sets.

The fact that some picketers had said that they were ready to protest outside the studio if it was set to resume during the strike probably played an important role. But Maher said that part of his decision was based on the different actors going back to the negotiating table, meaning the strike could come to an end soon.

At first, the comedian, as well as others, didn’t see any end in sight to the strike. We are still far from an agreement that could please everyone.

Bill Maher’s explanation to postpone the return of his TV show amid the writers strike. X

Maher wasn’t going to win his initial argument, and he discovered that soon enough. Americans, and viewers around the world, miss their favourite shows, but they are willing to compromise since they understand the demands of the writers.

It is a case of David against Goliath. The TV and movie writers aren’t getting their fair share. And it is about time society realized it. Hollywood studios need to adapt to the new reality.

Actors and the film industry make the money. They live the glamorous life, and often drown in cash, while writers don’t get what they deserve. These workers have an essential job; without them shows wouldn’t be what they are, and have what it takes to attract the viewership.

We can all understand. Well, the middle class can understand. Prices at the pumps are out of control and some food at the grocery is way too expensive for the average worker.

The Hollywood writers have been on strike since May already. The last strike of this size in the industry happened in 2007–2008, where work stopped for 100 days. The demands are quite similar, but a new player is now creating chaos in the entertainment industry: streaming content platforms.

Artificial intelligence, and its capacity to replace what humans do in a couple of years, is also part of the problem that we need to tackle sooner rather than later. If we don’t, it could be detrimental to our well-being.

We haven’t been talking enough about this historic strike during the summer and its implications. We tend to push aside issues around culture. We forget how crucial it is to society as a whole.

Writers are the brains and creativity behind what we enjoy. It is because of them we have fun on Saturday nights in front of the TV during SNL, laughing our head off.

Not everyone has the talent that’s needed to do what they do. So let’s valorize their work and give them what they truly deserve.

Congratulations on Bill for making the right decision at this moment and understanding the gravity of the situation. And let’s hope the strike can come to an end before the end of the year.



Olivier Pilon

Graduated with a masters degree in politics from the University of Quebec in Montreal. Human rights, LGBT issues, sports and music. Twitter: @OlivierPilon