On Friday night, amid backlash over the transphobic anatomy “jokes” in Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special The Closer, fellow comedian Bill Maher took it upon himself to kick off the latest episode of his HBO late-night show Real Time with a jab at transgender people.
“There’s a new James Bond movie out, finally,” offered Maher during his monologue. “Even that’s controversial, you know, because he has to step up with the times. And they have stepped up with the times now with James Bond. He still sleeps with three beautiful women—but two of them have a penis.”
Maher, of course, has a long history of transphobia—from his constant cracks about Caitlyn Jenner’s genitals to the time he gleefully mocked the transgender community alongside alt-right fraud Milo Yiannopoulos, describing the trans bathroom debate as “weirdos peeing” and agreeing with Yiannopoulos when he said, “…women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities from their bathrooms.” (This deeply transphobic rationale posits that transgender people are more prone to sexual predation, even though the opposite is true—that they are more likely to be targets of sexual violence.)
During the 2016 presidential election, Maher argued that Democrats should stop fighting for transgender rights in order to defeat Trump, saying, “Every issue, every fight, every cause has to take a backseat to defeating [Donald] Trump… There’s no room for boutique issues in an Armageddon election… Let’s not die on this hill.”
The bigger question is: Why are these older adult men—Chappelle is 48 and Maher is 65—so fixated on transgender people?