Bill Maher has changed his mind and isn’t bringing back his HBO talk show amid the ongoing writer’s strike.
“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,” Maher wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of Real Time, for now, and hope they can finally get this done,” he added. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and studios are set to resume negotiations this week in a step that hopefully ends the several months-long strike.
Last week, Maher said he would bring back his talk show, which ignited outrage from members of the WGA since his show employs a number of union members.
Maher wrote last week that “writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns,” adding that his staff is still struggling despite his personal assistance.
Maher, who is a member of the WGA, also had said he was not willing “to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much.”
In response, the WGA posted on X last week that it is “difficult to imagine how (‘Real Time’) can go forward without a violation of WGA strike rules taking place. WGA will be picketing this show.” It has not yet issued a statement about Maher’s reversal.
Maher’s show airs on HBO and streams on Max. HBO is owned by CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.
His show joins a number of talk shows that reversed decisions on resuming production. Over the weekend, Drew Barrymore changed her mind about bringing back her talk show this week after she caught a slew of backlash from Hollywood. CBS’s “The Talk,” as well as Jennifer Hudson’s syndicated talk show, also postponed their season premieres.
The WGA went on strike in May after its members were unable to negotiate a deal on a new contract with the studios and streamers. In July, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing 160,000 actors and performers, followed suit.