Bill Maher And Guests Ask Some Hard Questions About Dylan Mulvaney’s Bud Light Endorsement
Bill Maher and his guests channeled Salt-n-Pepa Friday night on HBO’s Real Time, as the theme of the night was “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Specifically, who is a woman, who has the right to determine a woman’s health and athletic requirements, and whether it’s a smart move to go after Donald Trump over sex-related crimes.
Maher raised the hot-button issued of Dylan Mulvaney, the transgender Bud Light and Nike influencer whose endorsement deals have become a polarizing issue in the last week. “Why the overreaction to this?” Maher asked. “Is there something else to this story?” He added that a lot of Americans are angry because they feel “they’ve had an agenda shoved down their throat. Do they have a point?”
Maher noted how “in trans issues, there seems no room for debate. You have to accept everything they say or you’re a bigot.”
Morgan pointed out that Mulvaney has morphed from a gay man to nonbinary to a woman, her exuberant personality creating friction along the way. More so than her appearance drinking Bud Light, Morgan felt the Nike ad with Mulvaney in a sports bra has raised more ire. “A lot of women got offended by the way Dylan Mulvaney goes about selling himself on TikTok.”
Morgan argued that Mulvaney was actually mocking women, and the fact that she’s risen to greater media attention at a time when swimmer Riley Gaines is raising questions about sports competition has caused things to overheat. “It’s not just as simple as saying, ‘I am woman,” Morgan said. “It is more complicated.” He added, “A lot of woman are saying, ‘What is actually happening to us in this process?’”
Porter said Mulvaney is raising important issues, “while the right is waging these cultural wars.” She claimed that disproportionate amounts of murder and violence are being visited on transgender people. “They are being attacked,” she said. She later attributed the Mulvaney backlash to “male insecurity.”
Morgan countered by questioning where transgender rights “erode or destroy the rights of women to equality, too.”
Porter acknowledged that “We should be able to have a civil discussion about these things,” but said she disagreed with Riley Gaines’s complaints on transgender women competing against her. “I believe that it should be up to sporting bodies.”
Morgan suggested that a new category be created for transgender athletes to allow them to compete.
Maher’s “New Rules” editorial reminded viewers that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it, as he likened Donald Trump’s indictment in New York with the late ’90s sex scandal involving President Bill Clinton.
Maher noted that all the legalisms involving Clinton were ignored by the average American, who were instead titillated by details of the Monica Lewinsky affair. When it was all over, Clinton avoided impeachment in the Senate and still had an approval rating of 73%.
“As I watch the circus around (Trump), it seems worth asking the Democrats, ‘What don’t you get about ‘Sex scandals don’t work on presidents?’ No matter what the underlying legalism, it’s all about sex. Law is boring.”
Maher allowed that he understood “how cathartic it was seeing Donald Trump hauled from his retirement home like the slumlord Goombah that he is. But when real indictments come down on real issues, we’ll have shot our wad on Stormy Daniels.”
Earlier in the show, Maher had a one-on-one wth Ben McKenzie, actor and coauthor of the forthcoming book, “Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud.”
McKenzie played into Maher’s prejudice against crypto, calling it “a Ponzi scheme. The numbers in crypto are not real.” He added that NFTs are “a scam.”