HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher reflected on the death of Tyre Nichols earlier this month after being beaten by several Memphis Police officers during his show on Friday, as well as a pair of mass shootings, observing that the “mono-focus on race” hinders the fixing of “realer problems.”
His guest, Tim Ryan, also observed that police officers are “stressed” these days and “underpaid.”
“This week, people learn the names of a couple of cities here in California. Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park was the other one,” Maher noted.
“And, you know, these shootings happen we go through these this ritual where then we wait for the, for them to announce the race of the shooter. We’re waiting for the Oscar nominations because that’s, you know, somehow, to a lot of people, the most important thing. And I just thought it was very interesting that this week, Asians were killed by Asians. Two Asian men who were, you know, 66 and 72,” he continued.
“And then this week, we just got this video of the Memphis Five. A black man is brutally beaten in Memphis by five cops. They’re all black,” he continued.
“I guess what I’m asking is America’s culture of violence. It does go deeper than race. Right? And I think this mono-focus we have on race is short-circuiting us trying to fix some of the realer problems. Would you agree?” he asked Ryan, a former Democratic congressman from Ohio who lost a U.S. Senate race to GOP Sen. J.D. Vance.
“Well, definitely deeper concerns here. And this is an opportunity for us to have that conversation. The conversation about mental health, the conversation about guns, the conversation about…” Ryan said.
“Cops,” Maher noted.
“The cops and the stress, and the stress the cops are under. And I’m not defending these guys, of course, this is a tragedy. They should be prosecuted, full extent of the law, the whole nine yards,” Ryan continued. “But if we don’t at some level realize that it’s not a white cop or a Black cop, it’s a cop who’s under stress, who’s underpaid. I had cops in my congressional district, Bill. They were getting paid $14 an hour.”
In June, Maher blasted “woke” Hollywood over how it portrays guns in violent movies.
“Now that we live in an age of uber-corporate responsibility where every large company in America bends over backwards to get on the politically correct side of every issue, Hollywood has to tell us. Why does that not include gun violence?” he began,
“When liberals scream, ‘Do something!’ after a mass shooting, why aren’t we also dealing with the fact that the average American kid sees 200,000 acts of violence on screens before the age of 18 and that according to the FBI, one of the warning signs of a potential school shooter is ‘a fascination with violence-filled entertainment?” he added.
“It’s funny. Hollywood is the wokest place on Earth, and every other area of social responsibility. They have intimacy coordinators on set to chaperone sex scenes. They hire sensitivity readers to go through and read scripts,” Maher, who describes himself as a ‘classic liberal,’ continued. “Disney stood up to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. Another studio spent $10 million to digitally remove Kevin Spacey from a movie.
“But when it comes to the unbridled romanticization of gun violence, crickets. The only thing we don’t call a trigger is the one that actually has a trigger,” he quipped. “We don’t show movie characters smoking anymore because it might look cool and influence children, but you’re telling me these cool dudes don’t influence them?
“And it’s not just the idea presented over and over and over again that guns are the best solution to life’s problems. It’s why the hero is using a gun. They call them action movies. They should call them revenge movies. Because that’s the plot of every one of them,” said the HBO host.