Bill Maher – Fatphobe, Eating Disorder Denier, and COVID-19 Misinformation Source

Bill Maher is using his platform to spread misinformation about fat people, COVID-19, and eating disorders.Bill Maher is a long-time weight bigot who is always too happy to use fat people as punching bags for ratings. Chrystal Bougon e-mailed me to let me know that on his May 8th show, he took it farther in a rant that Chrystal aptly said was “ridiculously reckless and chock full of misinformation and the last thing the world needs right now.”  The stuff in quotes is what he actually said. It may be triggering so you can skip that part and still get the gist of the post.

I know people hate to hear that message, and I hate to say it, but it’s the truth: the core of this problem in this country, one reason—obviously besides the Trumpian nonsense—is that we, as a country… you look at the numbers from other countries around the world, not nearly the amount of deaths because they don’t have the same obesity profile.”

Maher is so fully committed to being a weight bigot, and so devoid of a sense of responsibility for the drivel that he spouts, that he is comfortable using his platform to state his opinions as if they are facts in the service of perpetuating fatphobia (and, of course, ratings and profit) and misleading people about a global pandemic.

When we talk about health disparities in the US vs other countries, the first thing we have to talk about is that, unlike those countries, our healthcare system is not predicated on the idea that everyone should have access to healthcare. Rather, our system is based on the idea that healthcare should be controlled by the wealthy and ransomed for an amount of money that they decide makes them uber wealthier enough.

We have to talk about how that is exacerbated by the ever-growing wealth gap as the politicians who are bought by the wealthy give them what they paid for by funneling ever more money to the already wealthy, shifting it from the working class and poor, including the social safety net.  That causes health disparities that harm marginalized communities, including fat people.

Then of course there are all the ways that fatphobia directly affects fat people’s healthcare (including the fact that doctors can be so busy trying to make us smaller that they forget all about making us healthy, sometimes at the price of our lives.) \

But sure, let’s continue to create more stigma against the victims of this fatphobia. Good call Bill.

In discussing Adele’s weight loss he said:

“And by the way, the old Adele would not fare as well with COVID-19.”

This is a ridiculous statement. The notion that feeding your body less fuel than it needs so that it will consume itself and become smaller – aka dieting – will lead to improved COVID-19 reaction is seriously questionable. Especially considering that one study has found that “weight loss, even at a moderate rate, is associated with a decrease in the function of certain aspects of the immune system.”  Regardless, Bill Maher is obviously not in any position to be giving an educated opinion on this.

And of course, we’ve already talked about the serious issues with linking being fatter to COVID-19 risk.

He also read a tweet that someone else had written about the Adele situation that asked  “Did we again push another sane person in the spotlight into eating disorder?”

Then Bill Maher actually connected his brain to his mouth to say “The eating disorder is eating too much! This is insane that they think an eating disorder goes in the other direction.”

And all I could think to say was  – are you fucking kidding me with this bullshit you ignorant fuck? Neither “consuming more food than a television host thinks you should” or “having a body that a TV host associates with eating more food than they think you should” qualify as an eating disorder, I doubled checked the DSM-5 just to be sure,

However, there are a number of eating disorders that do exist that involve food restriction, they happen to people of all sizes, and they can be deadly. And they are rooted in exactly the kind of fatphobia that Bill promotes for profit.  (And that’s not even getting into the fact that binge eating disorder is heavily linked to food restriction.) If you are, or think you may be, dealing with an eating disorder, please know that resources are available, I encourage you to reach out.

When it comes to his love for weight stigma and fat-shaming, with someone like Bill Maher you never know – does he actually believe the bullshit he is selling? Does he just want ratings and he knows that cultural weight stigma means that he can harm fat people without repercussions without repercussions? Does he have issues with food/body-image that he is weaponizing against fat people?

Whatever is at the root, this needs to stop. This is ex-fucking-actly what the world does NOT need right now, or ever.

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16 thoughts on “Bill Maher – Fatphobe, Eating Disorder Denier, and COVID-19 Misinformation Source

  1. I’m thinkin he has issues. And when any one opens with that much of a um really, but no, by the way just cause I said so, it is a good sign they know they are about to spill some uber heady bullshit outa their mouths. BM seems to get worse with age. Might be another issue. Could be he is really hungry and uptight and sees fat people as heedless gluttons enjoying something he can’t. Or he could just be an asshole.
    For someone who wants to be thought of an a intelligent person with an incisive wit, he sure does back a sad old saw for his poster of “Don’t Be”s. And if he thinks Covid is gonna wipe out all us fatties, shouldn’t he be happy about it?
    Guess Adele is now in the “Good for you-but I can’t trust you.” category for Bill. Seems to even have once been fat, is still too close for him…Rewards her with death avoidance, obviously one of his fears. And when has anyone ever LOST money, making fun of, harassing, or wishing death on a “person with fat”? I’m guessing never.
    Here’s the answer. Fuck Bill!

  2. ‘Neither “consuming more food than a television host thinks you should” or “having a body that a TV host associates with eating more food than they think you should” qualify as an eating disorder, I doubled checked the DSV-5 just to be sure.’

    But I’m pretty sure swallowing Maher’s bullshit is a form of coprophagia.

  3. “are you fucking kidding me with this bullshit you ignorant fuck?” <– New disclaimer/warning at the beginning of every Maher show? Or maybe a tattoo near his mouth? Just a couple of suggestions.

  4. I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile –this is as good a thread as any, re fatphobia and medical care. For years now I’ve been having increasing trouble walking, with muscular weakness in my thighs, frequent falls, inability to lower myself down to sit on the ground, etc. etc. I retired at the end of last year and moved from a small town to a larger city, mainly in the hope of getting better medical care. I’ve been working with a wonderful neurologist, and we’ve narrowed my diagnosis down to a few different forms of GENETIC, progressive degenerative muscular disorders — in other words, there’s nothing on earth I could have done to prevent this, ward it off, slow it down, etc. That’s not good news, but having a diagnosis is actually affirming to me, because . . . In the small town I lived in previously, I saw the one and only neurologist in 2015 and told him I’m falling down a lot, I can’t sit down on the ground, I can’t walk up stairs, my legs hurt when I walk, etc. etc. And what did he say? “There’s nothing really wrong with you — you should just lose some weight.” He did NO tests. In contrast, my neurologist here has done a whole battery of tests (including genetic tests) and has never mentioned my weight, not even once — because guess what? This is a genetic condition that happened at the moment of my conception, and my weight has NOTHING to do with it!!

    The condition is progressive and not curable. But IF the neurologist I saw in 2015 had bothered to take me seriously and do the appropriate tests, I could have been doing specific, targeted physical therapy for the past five years and might have preserved some function that I’ve now lost. But no. All he saw was a fat woman — so all he could suggest was “lose weight.”

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing this and I’m really sorry that your health was compromised by medical fatphobia. What that doctor did is malpractice. You deserve much better!

    2. That is a mess of stuff to have to deal with. I am glad you got a decent doctor who was more concerned with “Facts than Truth” so to speak. When ever you hear blame being lobbed at you, remember it is being sent along via fear. It isn’t that You did something wrong, asked for it, deserve it… It is the speaker needs you to have asked for it to keep themselves safe… There are a lot of people, educated and not, who believe they won’t get sick, or die for a very vey very long time simply because they don’t look like someone else. Absurd, pointless guff!

  5. Jen, you are so right. People are really invested in thinking that any medical problems someone has must be that person’s FAULT, and that lets them feel safe in their own health (which somehow they believe is indestructable and will last forever . . . )

  6. I used to watch Maher’s shows regularly and even saw him perform stand-up. At that show all he did were political jokes, nothing misogynistic or fatphobic. This was in 2013, I think.

    However, since then I began to realize that Maher is a misogynist. In fact, he seems to be getting worse. I’ve noticed a distinct change in the overall tone of his current program; he seems angrier and more bitter, more likely to attack certain groups of people, and his show reflects that. For example, he was roundly condemned for an awful comment he made about American slavery. The following week he apologized, but I wonder about his sincerity.

    Maher is also a vocal anti-vaxxer and a proponent of “alternative medicine,” i.e., nonsense. He is harming a lot of people with his bullshit and complete ignorance of science. I stopped watching his program after one such tirade.

    After his fatphobic remarks, I will never watch his show. I want nothing to do with him.

    1. You know that sating “Power (money) doesn’t change people, it unmasks them.” I think Bill Maher might be a good example of that. He started out as a struggling comic, begging audiences to listen to him and take him seriously, he got his own show for his quick wit, communication skills and non-mainstream views. Ten plus years later, after gathering a goodly sized audience he got short, smarmy and doubled down on his “out there” positions. The thing is, he is a talking oxymoron. He both wants people to take his ideas as fact all the while he acts like none of it really matters anyway. On top of that, either his views have changed, or he kept his reactionary, not very original ideas about things to himself. Maybe he is trying to destroy himself. Sort of a ‘I did all this work, now I’m gonna tear it apart. Or he is upset over aging and realizing his quirky ideologies are not as important as people real lives and struggles with racial/environmental/sexual/gender/poverty/dyed in the wool patriarchal mess young people today are throwing back at their elders.
      All that, or maybe Bill Maher is just an asshole.

      1. LOL, I think he is just an asshole. I agree with you but assholery seems the simplest explanation.

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