Bill Maher has come under criticism for downplaying Jada Pinkett Smith’s autoimmune disease and advising her to “wear a wig” on April 1.
Per People, in the opening monologue of his HBO talk show Real Time, Maher shot a dig at Pinkett Smith’s health. The comedian informed his audience thatthere are “worse things than alopecia” and argued that it was “not leukemia, okay?”
Maher brought up Pinkett Smith yet again during the program, which included former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang and legal analyst Laura Coates. He stated that he was initially upset by Chris Rock’s G.I. Jane joke because he thought alopecia was a more serious illness.
The talk show host said he then revised his opinion when he learned that alopecia was “not life-threatening.” The comedian stated that he looked up information about the condition on Google, adding that Pinkett Smith should “thank God” she didn’t receive a more serious diagnosis because of her psychological issues.
Maher laughed off Pinkett Smith’s concerns about having alopecia, mocking her for being overly sensitive.
“Aging is, trust me I know, it’s the degradation of the flesh. It happens to all of us. And you know, just put on a f—ing wig like everybody else at the Oscars if it bothers you so much.”
Many on social media denounced Maher’s remarks about Pinkett Smith as hostile, ableist, sexist, and racist.
I think it’s funny how Bill Maher spends most of his time criticizing Jada Pinkett about alopecia. Jada Pinkett is not the one who walked up and slapped Chris Rock, her husband did! We don’t know if she took that personal or not. Jada Pinkett didn’t say anything!
— THE USA Podcast (@theusapodcast) April 2, 2022
@billmaher Do you know someone with #alopecia? It’s an auto immune disease with serious physical and psychological impact. To say it’s an insignificant affliction; that you could live with it if that’s what was wrong with you vs leukemia. Seriously insensitive and ignorant.
— Mitchell Caplan (@mcaplanNY) April 2, 2022
When you tell a woman with alopecia to put on a wig so that she'll be accepted & her medical condition won't be made the butt of a joke, the problem isn't the person with a medical condition, the problem is with you…
Bill Maher is an ableist piece of shit.
— Amanda Siebe | ♿ #DisabilityRightsAreHumanRight 🦖 (@SiebeforORD1) April 2, 2022
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