Bill Maher touched on a number of topics during last night’s episode of Real Time, including Fox News‘ $787.5M settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, but cancel culture was front and center once again.
The HBO host shared that he was moderating a discussion at a prominent Hollywood producer’s home about a year-and-a-half ago when the idea for “The Cojones Awards” was conceived.
Although it never came to fruition, he has now decided to make it an annual staple on his show. The makeshift awards segment, complete with brass trophies (of testicles), honors “the brave people who have fought back” against cancel culture.
He presented the first award to Martha Pollack, the president of his alma mater Cornell University, for standing up to students who “demanded trigger warnings before all the lectures in case any of the adult subjects you specifically went to college to learn about came up.” Maher said Pollack responded by not caving in or hiring a new “Dean of Sensitivity” but instead simply said no, explaining that “college is for introducing you to new ideas.”
He quipped that he’s “just amazed at how this generation can simultaneously be too sensitive for anything distasteful and somehow also so into eating a**.”
His next award went to Trader Joe’s for responding to a petition claiming that their beer, Trader José, was racist and should be rebranded. Maher joked that management “did the right thing” and burned down all their stores and killed themselves.
“No!,” he exclaimed, “they didn’t. They said f**k off you oversensitive little s**ts. Get a life and a sense of humor.” He then shared the statement they released which read “we disagree that any of these labels are racist and we do not make decisions based on petitions.”
One of his final two awards went to Ted Sarandos for standing up to dozens of Netflix employees who walked out “over Dave Chappelle‘s reckless decision to perform comedy on his comedy special.” Maher said he responded by reminding employees that “comedy exists to push boundaries.”
Maher’s last award went to Ben Stiller for responding to critics of his film Tropic Thunder. Stiller tweeted that he makes no apologies for the movie and that it has always been a controversial title since they opened, adding that he’s proud of it and the work everyone did on it.
The overall point of Maher’s awards segment was to show people that “if you stand up to the mob for just a day or two, their shallow, impatient, immature, smartphone-driven gerbil minds will forget about it and go on to the next nothing burger and you still will have your cojones.”
You can watch Maher’s full Cojones Awards segment above and catch new episodes of Real Time on HBO on Fridays at 10PM ET.