Last night on HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher, the host celebrated Oscar weekend by recognizing the progress that Hollywood has accomplished through its award shows over the years.
During his opening monologue, Maher revealed that the Oscars are making some changes this year. He quipped: “They’re asking, ‘Who are you slapping?’
He noted that it’s hard to remember who won each year. “You win and you disappear,” Maher said, pausing for a second. “Like Kamala Harris.”
Maher also joked that he hopes Tom Cruise wins. “I want to see a person get up and say, “I want to thank Xenu.”
Later during his “New Rule” segment, which he dubbed “The Scold and the Beautiful,” Maher said the award show has become a four-hour lecture of “how bad people have it by the people who have it the best.”
He noted that 50 years ago, Marlon Brando had Sacheen Littlefeather accept his Best Actor award so that she could use the platform to detail how Native Americans have been mistreated by Hollywood.
Maher referenced accounts of the historic moment that mention how Littlefeather was met with boos and jeers by the crowd. One producer said she would be arrested if her message went over 60 seconds, and it has been rumored that actor John Wayne had to be held back from charging the stage. “This is back when storming the stage was not allowed,” he said sarcastically.
If she had made that same speech today, Maher noted, she would be embraced by the audience. “That is because of progress,” he said.
He then mentioned how change occurs over time and that some leaders are late to the party. “I don’t know if everything happens everywhere all at once,” he said, referencing the Oscar favorite. “But I do know that everyone is late on everything, because that’s what it is to be human.”
Maher criticized liberals for typically being late, but says “they do tend to keep going until we get there.” He rattled off a list of films that have helped audiences understand issues ranging from AIDS to interracial marriage.
“They were dicks to an Indian in 1973, but along the way, Hollywood moved the country forward.”
He concluded the segment, which you can watch above, saying: “So, thank you, Hollywood.”