American comedian Bill Maher said Monday he was postponing the return of his HBO political show Real Time, becoming the second talk show host to reverse plans after an outcry from striking Hollywood writers and actors.
Drew Barrymore said Sunday she had backed off plans to bring back her daytime talk show while strikes in Hollywood continue and apologized “to anyone I have hurt.”
Maher said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he will delay the return to the show “for now,” given that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the studios have decided to return to the negotiating table.
The WGA, on strike since early May, said they will resume talks on Wednesday.
“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,” said Maher, who is a WGA member. Maher said he hoped “they can finally get this done.”
My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike. 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…
The WGA said it was “difficult to imagine” how Maher could host the show and still comply with strike rules. The union had said members would picket the filming of the show.
The proposed return of The Drew Barrymore Show to CBS drew picketers from the striking writers’ and actors’ unions as taping resumed last week.
Following Barrymore’s announcement, other popular talk shows — including The Talk and The Jennifer Hudson Show — said they will not be returning during the WGA strike and the Screen Actors Guild strike.