HBO's Bill Maher Blasts LeBron James, John Cena, Eileen Gu For 'Kowtowing' to Communist China

HBO's Bill Maher Blasts LeBron James, John Cena, Eileen Gu For 'Kowtowing' to Communist China

HBO ‘Real Time’ host Bill Maher continued his criticism of leftist political, cultural, and sports figures with a takedown of NBA legend LeBron James and others during his Friday program over their deference to Communist China for purely financial reasons.

During his show, Maher took James, former pro-wrestler-turned-movie star John Cena, and Eileen Gu, the 18-year-old American-born Olympic gold medal skier who chose to compete this year for China, her mother’s homeland, to task, all of whom he said “kowtow” to Beijing.

“Is that cool now, to choose to represent a totalitarian police state over America?” Maher asked. “The Olympics pretends to only be about sports but of course, the games have always been a bit of a proxy war for which country has the best system.

“And by choosing Team China, Eileen Gu became a living symbol of China’s triumph over the West, which wouldn’t bother me so much if I thought China had triumphed over us in the ways that really matter. But they haven’t,” he continued.

“Now, we do have human rights issues right here at home, we do, but we’re still at least, for another three years, a democracy based on freedom and they are an authoritarian surveillance state based on ‘How would you like to disappear for a few months?’” Maher quipped.

Watch (strong language warning):

“Like that tennis player [Peng Shuai] who recently vanished for a while when she said she had been raped by a government official. We do still throw too many black people in jail, but perspective matters,” he added.

“China has basically jailed an entire ethnic minority, the Uyghurs,  a situation that both the Trump and Biden administrations have called a genocide. America is not close to that. And it’s a cynical dodge to pretend China’s sins should be overlooked because we all do it. No,” he said.

The traditional liberal and HBO star added that “no one” bothers to discuss how Hong Kong, which China vowed in 1997 when it regained control of the city from the UK to keep autonomous, is being crushed by Beijing because “so much money is involved.” He then pointed to Daryl Morey, general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, who was forced into an apology in 2019 after he expressed support for freedom in Hong Kong (the NBA is big in China).

“In America, we’re supposed to root for democratic government, not apologize for it!” Maher exclaimed. “But the NBA has a television deal with China worth a billion-and-a-half dollars. So LeBron James said Morey needed to be ‘educated on the situation,’ the situation being, ‘I’ve got some shoes to sell.'”

“‘Kowtow’ is a Chinese word but boy, Americans have gotten good at it,” Maher quipped, going on to rip Google by claiming the tech giant submits to Chinese censors and shunned its founding “Don’t be evil” clause so the search behemoth could access the vast Chinese Internet market.

“That’s the deal China offers American companies and celebrities: We’ll give you access to our billion-plus consumers as long as you shut up about the whole police-state-genocide thing. John Cena took that deal,” Maher said.

“Well, c’mon. China accounts for 34 percent of global box office and he’s a movie star now. So, like the Uyghurs, last year, he learned he needed to get some re-education,” Maher noted further.

“You see, John referred to Taiwan as a country as if were a separate country from China, which it is! But what China would like to do to Taiwan what [it] did to Tibet and what it’s now doing to Hong Kong,” said the comedian.

He went on to play a clip Cena’s appeasing apology video, which he spoke in perfect Mandarin, leading Maher to joke: “And I thought steroids shrunk your balls.”

Maher adds:

When a country can make your big muscly Macho Man action star grovel in their language, you know you’re somebody’s b**ch. In the original ‘Top Gun,’ Tom Cruise wore a bomber jacket but the flags of several Asian countries that are our allies sewn on the back. Well, the flag for Taiwan has now magically disappeared for the upcoming ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ Well, he used to be a maverick. Now he does whatever China says.

So can you really blame 18-year-old Eileen Gu, who’s already made over $31 million as the face of 23 brand products in China, for following in the footsteps of other American celebrities? Some of Gu’s defenders say it’s racist to ask if she’s still an American citizen and she herself won’t say. Why is that racist? Why was it racist to think that COVID might have originated from a lab leak as opposed to from eating bats — besides the fact that the idea that COVID came from eating gross weird food seems way more racist and the idea that it came from a high-tech lab?

Besides that, the definition of ‘woke’ was supposed to be being alert to injustice in society. But because the ‘woke’ now see race first and everything else never, fear of being accused of racism has given a free pass on human rights abuses to China and any other places that are perceived as non-White. If China was in Europe, would they get away with having concentration camps without more of an outcry from America?…

He concluded with: “In 2020, NBA players wore jerseys that said ‘Freedom,’ ‘Speak Up,’ and ‘Justice,’ but I guess those things only matter for home games. Sorry, Uyghurs. Someone has to tell me where we got this rule that you can’t criticize China because I suspect we got it from China. Because after all, it’s where we get everything else.”


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