Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher is known for not being afraid to speak his mind. This has led to him adopting and voicing many opinions – and making a number of faux pas – that many saw as controversial. These controversies have also led to Maher being involved in public feuds with a number of celebrities on more than one occasion, both on and off his show.
However, there’s one feud that might stand out above all: the one he had with black comedian Wayne Brady, who has publicly criticized and threatened the talk show host on more than one occasion because he found the comments racist and offensive . And unsurprisingly, it looks like Brady’s issue with Maher has yet to subside. So what was it that sparked the feud that would dominate headlines over the years? Well, as viewers of Maher’s show can expect, she began with a rather controversial comment.
Wayne Brady said he would “smack” the talk show host for his comments.
Wayne Brady’s issues with Bill Maher first surfaced in 2010 when Maher compared Brady to then-President Barack Obama in an interview with CNN for representing a more positive view of black people. Maher said at the time that “as a comedian,” he thought he expected Obama to be more like “Suge Knight” than someone more like “President Wayne Brady.”
Brady responded in 2013, accusing Maher of originally linking Obama to a convicted violent criminal in Knight. While telling HuffPost Live that he “always respected” the comedian, he added that Maher’s portrayal of black men as aggressive was offensive. He further stated that he was particularly outraged by Maher when he “[dragged] making me use myself as the cultural linchpin of his ‘not black enough’ argument.” Brady added that Maher “has part of America’s ear. When he says that, it’s okay for someone at home to say, ‘That’s right, people who talk really well and are black – that’s not black! I like my black misunderstandings. That… hurts for our culture.”
Speaking to HuffPost, Brady also reached out to Maher, saying he will publicly “smack” the comedian to demonstrate that he isn’t always the model person Maher seems to have made him out to be. According to Brady, Maher never responded to that statement.
It’s been years since Wayne Brady’s fight with Bill Maher
Although Wayne Brady’s Issues with Maher was vocal about his troubles with Bill Maher’s comments about Black men in 2013, they go back longer. According to TheWrap, Brady told actress Aisha Tyler on her Girl on Guy podcast in 2012 that he would “love to smack” the talk show host.
“That means it’s a diss for Obama to be called me because he wants a ‘brother, brother,'” Brady said of Barack Obama’s 2010 comment. “Just because you had that particular black experience [of dating Black women] … I realize that if I went on his show or even did it online, I won’t win. Because once you retire, he still has his platform to say whatever he wants to Black Suitors, who cite Maher’s then-girlfriend Coco Johnsen as one of the “ladies of the night he hired.”
A few years later, in 2017, Brady Maher also called out for his show’s use of a racial slur (for which he later apologized), simply tweeting, “Yup…” Though they’ve obviously not been in touch since, it can be said say with certainty that Brady’s issues with Maher continue and that Maher has taken no steps to mend their relationship.