It was another Friday night and it was another comedian telling another British journalist to fuck off on Real Time with Bill Maher. There seems to be a pattern developing on the HBO late night talk show since President Trump’s inauguration. Last week, Australia’s Jim Jefferies told the DailyMail.com’s Piers Morgan to “fuck off”. This time it was comedian, writer and producer Larry Wilmore, formerly of the Nightly Show on Comedy Central, going head-to-head with Milo Yiannopoulos, the senior editor of the alt-right site, Breitbart News.
Unfortunately for HBO, this eruption didn’t happen during Real Time‘s regular 10pm Friday night time slot. The back-and-forth between Wilmore and Yiannopoulos happened during Bill Maher’s “Overtime“, which is a segment done exclusively for the Real Time with Bill Maher YouTube channel. During “Overtime“, Bill Maher and his panelists stick around to answer viewers questions submitted during the actual show. To set the stage, Larry Wilmore was part of Friday’s panel including former U.S. Counterterrorism Intelligence Officer, Malcolm Nance and former U.S. Congressman from Georgia, Republican Jack Kingston, while Milo Yiannopoulos appeared in a separate interview segment. For “Overtime“, Yiannopoulos joined the panel on YouTube.
The argument started with a question submitted about transgender people’s rights. Yiannopoulos gave his opinion about people with gender identity issues, saying they have a mental disorder. Wilmore countered by saying the same thing used to be said about gay people. Maher accused Yiannopoulos of constantly having to argue with people. He replied by saying that was because, “You always invite such awful people on your show. They’re so stupid.” That’s when Larry Wilmore increased the tension on the panel by telling Yiannopoulos, “You can go fuck yourself.” Then it was on as Wilmore defended Malcolm Nance by telling Yiannopoulos, “He can talk circles around your pathetic douchey little ass.” Wilmore wasn’t done. Referring back to a comment Yiannopoulos made earlier about Paul Feig’s remake of Ghostbusters and its stars, he told the Breitbart editor, “Leslie Jones is not illiterate. Go fuck yourself for that one. She’s a very thoughtful person and very funny.” Yiannopoulos had personally attacked Leslie Jones on Twitter after the release of Ghostbusters. He was kicked off of Twitter because of the vitriol involved in his tweets. Bill Maher said that Milo Yiannopoulos reminded him of “a young, gay, alive Christopher Hitchens”, the late author, editor and social critic and suggested that Yiannopoulos could be taken more seriously if he didn’t start petty fights.
The conversation was no less heated after moving on from the Wilmore / Yiannopoulos exchange on Overtime. Later questions submitted for the panel included a querie about the alleged voter fraud that President Trump insists happened during the election despite no evidence pointing towards it. That discussion earned Milo Yiannopoulos another “fuck off” from Malcolm Nance who said it as a follow-up to asking Yiannopoulos if he was an American.
Larry Wilmore also answered a question asking if comedians should agree to perform at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner? There’s been a controversy about performers possibly boycotting the WHCD as a protest against President Trump’s policies. Asked if comedians should go, Wilmore, who grabbed headlines as last year’s host, answered “Absol-fucking-lutely!” He added it’s the perfect chance for any comedian with the President sitting there, or as Wilmore called him, “Donald-Jun-Ing”, comparing him to the North Korea’s “Dear Leader”. He added, “If you’re asked to do that, do not turn that down. It’s a great opportunity.”