Bill Maher is firing back at the University of California, Berkeley students who are calling for the late-night host to be uninvited as the commencement speaker of an upcoming December graduation ceremony.
Like it or not though, he’s coming.
“I’m planning to come,” Maher said on his show Friday night. “I’m planning a trip to the Redwoods the next day.”
The group of undergrads who initially selected Maher as the graduation speaker changed their minds after the airing of an October episode of “Real Time” in which Maher got into a heated exchange with Ben Affleck. During the program, Maher argued that liberals turn a blind eye on the religion of Islam and its discriminatory practices. Affleck called Maher’s views “gross” and “racist.” Thousands of UC Berkeley students agreed.
“They invited me because it was the 50th anniversary of something that is legendary on that campus: the Berkeley Free Speech Movement,” Maher said. “I guess they don’t teach irony in college anymore.”
Despite nearly 5,000 signatures being collected on a change.org petition to stop Maher from coming from graduation, UC Berkeley has sided with Maher and has left his invitation to speak intact.
“My only reservation in not coming is the argument that it will be a media circus and turn a day which should be about the graduates into something else,” Maher said.
He continued, saying: “My speech is going to be about you and whatever tips that I think could actually help you in life because I already lived through it. That and my hunk about how Jewish women hate to have sex.”
Watch Bill Maher‘s response to the student body of UC Berkeley in the video above.