A Troll Returns to Bully People with Obesity

Forest TrollBill Maher has a full-time commitment to bigotry, says Eric Wemple at the Washington Post. Stereotypes about Asian women, gender, Islam, the N-word – at various times he finds a place for all of them in his dubious humor. But really, the talent he has is the talent of a bully and this is the talent he used for his closing segment on HBO Friday night to mock people living with obesity.

Same Stupid Schtick,
New Easy Target

Two years ago, Maher found himself on the defensive for his rants about fat people. James Corden patiently explained how wrong Maher is to presume that people choose to live with obesity or excess weight. That did not go so well for Maher because Corden has his own following and his own platform, which put him on equal footing with Maher.

Bullies don’t like picking on someone their own size. So this time, Maher chose to mock ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle to make his hateful points about fat people. After all, Kyle is no celebrity. He’s an easy target – no TV show, no studio audience.

Facts? Who Cares?

Maher decided to label Kyle as a “fat activist” – which he clearly is not. But he does stand up for treating people with respect.

Maher found quotes about the complexity of obesity from Kyle to mock, saying that there’s nothing complicated about it. It’s all about “letting yourself go” and wanting to “eat a mongoose for lunch.”

Ironically, Maher pulled those quotes out of an in-depth exploration about the complexity of obesity that drew upon the expertise of more than 50 experts in the field. But he’s not so interested in science, as he had explained earlier in his show when he said medical science has “debatable” value:

“Don’t sit there in your white coat telling me ‘we have all the answers.’ You obviously don’t.”

A bully like Maher doesn’t need facts, he just needs an easy target to pick on. So he’s out there standing firmly in favor of fat shaming, unconcerned that he’s making the problem worse by ridiculing and tearing vulnerable people down.

Shame on you, Bill Maher. You are an unrepentant bully for whom we have no time.

For more about the problem Maher is promoting with fat shaming, click here.

Forest Troll, painting by Theodor Severin Kittelsen / WikiArt

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August 7, 2022

13 Responses to “A Troll Returns to Bully People with Obesity”

  1. August 07, 2022 at 8:01 am, John DiTraglia said:

    Bill Maher is a schmuck but on the bright side he brings attention to your estimable efforts.

  2. August 07, 2022 at 8:17 am, Jennifer said:

    I am so sorry to hear this. The man needs to be taken off the air.

  3. August 07, 2022 at 8:52 am, Thais Cesar said:

    Last Friday, when I was watching Bill Maher’s show, I couldn’t believe how bad his criticism of science is! Scientists like me don’t have all the answers, but we do have some, based on facts, and we use methods and knowledge built on logic and previous knowledge to answer them. On the contrary, what are people like him based on? Feelings, sensations, and imaginary ideas? What shocks me the most is how he uses his space to mock Science and has no respect for a diseases condition, like obesity, and his lack of knowledge about nutrition and medicine. This isn’t the first time he’s done this, and as a customer who used to watch his show, I’m very disappointed. We are under attack in these dark times, with the denial of vaccines and the serious consequences of infectious diseases, and exposure to an ever-altering environment. He is not serving us, as a political comedian, to baselessly criticize obesity, vaccines, masks or public health. Please Bill, go study, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Go learn first.

  4. August 07, 2022 at 9:17 am, Christine Rosenbloom said:

    So much meanness in the guise of comedy.

  5. August 07, 2022 at 9:40 am, Allen Browne said:

    Bullies have to be stopped – A good way is to support the bullied – Go OAC!


  6. August 07, 2022 at 2:31 pm, Amy Endrizal said:

    Watching Maher’s cruel, ignorant, and bigoted clip, I regretted that it was 7 minutes of my life that I can’t get back. By contrast, your thoughtful daily postings and other work are invariably time well-spent (including the April 1 editions, which, unlike Maher, are truly funny).

    Here’s wishing that HBO will let Maher go. And if a mongoose eats him for lunch–well, bon appetit!

    Keep up the wonderful work!

    • August 07, 2022 at 5:31 pm, Ted said:

      Now that was pretty funny, Amy.

  7. August 07, 2022 at 2:43 pm, Nadya Isack said:

    I really detest that man and sorry you have to be at thebrunt of his ignorance and bigotry.

  8. August 07, 2022 at 4:48 pm, Nanette Wilson said:

    I stopped watching his show when he pulled this last time. His entire purpose is humor and he’s made his millions as a celebrity. He has no mission or concern for humanitarianism. But to pick on Ted Kyle, of all people, one of the most intelligent, humble, and kindest people I know? You’re the lowest of the low, Bill. You talk a good game to keep the money flowing into your pockets. That’s all Bill cares for money and jokes.

  9. August 08, 2022 at 3:05 am, Ben Nivel said:

    Bill Maher is pointing out something simple: Americans are overweight and it is perfectly easy to understand why: overeating and overindulging.

    Just compare recipes for cakes that come from French websites and US websites: the sugar is about double. This is not by chance, it comes after decades of relentless commercial campaigning to not eat fat and promotion of sugar.

    I currently do not live in the US and each time I come back, I am appalled at the behavior of Americans in supermarkets. They eat so much crap.

    And now instead of facing up to the problem (the food industry and their lifestyle), they are going into “body positivity”. Denying a problem never makes it go away…

  10. August 08, 2022 at 9:46 am, Donna Kasznel said:

    I have long felt that Bill Maher is really objectionable. I can’t believe that he called you out by name – he is an idiot. I appreciate the important work that you do, Ted – please keep it up. We need to counteract the damage caused by bigots like Maher.

  11. August 08, 2022 at 3:38 pm, Myrna said:

    We all understand the importance of reading literacy. After a long career now retired in science education, I remember how we use to talk about science literacy. This term simply meant that the individual understood enough about science to make educated choices regarding science topics in their lives. Choices to protect their bodies and other choices that needed to be made regarding the environment, purchasing safe products, etc.that are made on a daily basis.

  12. August 08, 2022 at 7:35 pm, Gail Attara said:

    You do such work, Ted.

    My only hope is that one day Bill Maher will recognize the absurdity of his beliefs and grow up. He and other bigots do so much harm to our entire society.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re the best!