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Maher on Emmys, Atheism, Hitchens

Bill Maher: I'll Never Win An Emmy Because I'm Atheist

Bill Maher's Emmy curse is legendary: he has been nominated 22 times 11 for "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," nine for "Real Time with Bill Maher," and twice for comedy specials but he's never won.

And he thinks it has something to do with his views on religion.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Maher said that religious Emmy voters don't vote for him because of his outspoken atheism.

"A panel of like 10 people watches one tape," he said. "If half of those people are religious, that probably eliminates me right there. A lot of people wouldn't vote for such an outspoken atheist, someone who made 'Religulous.'"

In the same interview, Maher weighed in on fellow atheist Christopher Hitchens and the religious people out there hoping Hitchens, who is battling esophageal cancer, will make a "deathbed conversion" to religion.

"People who are waiting for that are going to be disappointed -- because I don't think he's going to die," Maher said. "I expect him to be back on our panel, if not this season then next. People wish the fear that drives them their whole life would now drive him, because he's got cancer. But he's not a fearful guy, so it's not going to happen."

Read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter.
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Earlier this year, Maher told the Los Angeles Times that it's his mix of outspoken views that prevents him from winning an Emmy, not just his atheism:

Honestly, my take is that you cannot speak the truth about as many things as I do without incurring the wrath of some people who vow every year not to vote for me. I'm sure that happened after I said what I said about 9/11. [While Maher did not side with the terrorists, he did say that flying a plane into a building is not "cowardly" as some called it.] I guarantee there have been those who pledge, "I'll never vote for him because he's an atheist and says all those things about God." Others probably declare, "I'll never vote for him because he doesn't think we should get a flu vaccination."
I saw him on the Leno show last night. Anyone else see him?
I didn't - too bad I didn't know he'd be on.
The last place I'll see him is on Leno. Pfft
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
I follow Maher religulously. Unfortunately his pay per view network (HBO) is beyond my financial class so I have to watch his belated broadcasts on You Tube. But I watch every one of them. Yes, he is one of our few, brave, lone soldiers out there that is defending our cause with very little back up from the rest of the atheist community.

If, like Hitchens believes, there are many more atheists out there than the ones who currently have the courage to identify themselves, then, like the democratic/progressive party, we only have to overcome the fear we perceive from being out weighed by another majority in order to take our rightful place as leaders of a sane, intelligent, benevolent majority that is highly capable of leading humanity into the future.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
I rarely watch Leno, and HBO is out of our financial league too. But what I've been doing is ordering HBO for when Real Time is running their new season shows, and then we cancel it during off season.

We're both so disgusted with television that we're considering not having any cable, Dish, etc., and watching only DVDs and programs and movies that are free online. But I'm wondering if the impending doom of net neutrality might interfere with the online part of that plan.

Anyhoo, I agree with you derF.

My perception is that it's time for atheists and other non-believers to step up to the plate to begin teaching people what real values and morals are. Granted, I understand that not all non-theists have stellar morals, but I truly believe that, overall and all things considered, non-theists are on the high ground when it comes to having and living values and morals that are inclusive of all, especially in the arena of human (and other beings) rights.

First and foremost we can teach this by example, and secondly we need to be much more visible in the public and in government and teach and lead in those arenas.

No one has to like or approve of us being there - we just need to do it anyway.
Edited by Hypatia on 09/15/2010 18:54
I much prefer Letterman to Leno (if I'm going to watch either), but seeing that Maher was going to appear on the Leno show got my attention.
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