Bill Maher didn’t shy away from talking about his friend Sen. Al Franken on Friday night’s “Real Time,” saying that the Minnesota Democrat “did a bad thing,” but doesn’t deserve the level of condemnation he’s receiving.
“Al’s a friend, but Al, I gotta to tell you, if you write a comedy sketch where you, Al Franken, kisses a model and her next line of dialogue isn’t ‘Get off of me, creepy!’ it’s not comedy; it’s science fiction.”
Maher agreed that Franken “did a bad thing” and the criticism he’s received has been universal. But, the HBO host said, “What he doesn’t deserve is to be lumped in with Roy Moore! Or Kevin Spacey! Or Harvey Weinstein! Or Donald Trump!”
Thursday, radio host and model Leeann Tweeden said Sen. Franken kissed and groped her without her consent while they both worked on a USO Tour of the Middle East in 2006. Franken offered his “sincerest apologies” — which Tweeden accepted.
Maher pitched the idea of another #MeToo campaign: “I can tell two unlike things apart. #MeToo!” he said.
“I know the difference between a man who once acted like a d–k and a man who is a d–k. MeToo!” he explained. “I know the difference between someone who behaved like a high-schooler and someone who targeted a high-schooler. MeToo!”
The topic didn’t end with his monologue. Mid-show guest Chelsea Handler also weighed in.
“I agree with you on Al Franken. I’m sorry, he’s not a predator. We all know it,” she said. “He made a mistake. Absolutely. But he’s not a predator.”
Watch Maher’s monologue above.