Bill Maher on progress and the Academy Awards

March 11, 2023 • 10:30 am

For those of you who think Bill Maher is a covert “alt-righter”, here’s his take on progress in the Oscars, from Sacheen Littlefeather (real name Marie Louise Cruz) getting booed when rejecting Marlon Brando’s Oscar to the likelihood she’d get cheered today. Maher sees this as real progress, and I suppose many will be surprised at his approbation of progress and his chastising of liberals for being behind on the arc of history.

This isn’t one of his funnier monologues (except for the instructions to the kids at the beginning), but it does show where he stands.  Note that John McWhorter appears to be on the panel, but I can find no words by him on yesterday’s show .

It turns out that Littlefeather wasn’t of Native American descent at all, but that is irrelevant to the point Maher is making.

Here’s Littlefeather’s speech while rejecting Brando’s award. I hope you recognize the presenters. She pushes the Oscar away, and during her short speech can hear mixed boos and cheers from the audience.

16 thoughts on “Bill Maher on progress and the Academy Awards

  1. Ha. If Littlefeather had been outed as a Pretendian in Canada, with cultural appropriation of costume no less. that’s all anyone would be talking about. Furiously. “Mixed booing” wouldn’t even half cover it.

    1. If Ms. Littlefeather (whose Wiki entry is worth reading) had been Canadian, Mount Royal U. and the U. of Saskatchewan would no doubt have vied with each other for her services as a professor.

    2. She is not necessarily a Pretendian. She claimed that her father was of Apache and Yaqui descent. After her death, her sister “contradicted” this by saying that her father was actually of Spanish-Mexican descent with no tribal ties. But what is Spanish-Mexican but a mix of Spanish and indigenous heritage? I don’t see that she fabricated her heritage, though she clearly over-stated it.

        1. Yes, you’re right. I’m just saying that the comments by Littlefeather’s sister does not rule out some indigenous ancestry; in fact, it guarantees it.. Tribe membership is another matter and not for me to judge.

      1. Wikipedia says that the culture of the indigenous Mexicans has been completely wiped out. If Littlefeather’s father was indigenous Mexican, his culture would have been Hispanic. At the Oscars Littlefeather presented as a stereotypical USA style “indian” like they had in the cowboy movies. I’m not going to judge her for it, though. She was campaigning for a cause and her manner of dress helped to define the cause.

        1. The statement that the indigenous culture of Mexico is completely wiped out is one of the most surprising errors I have ever seen on Wikipedia. There are many regions of Mexico where indigenous culture is strong. This includes the Yaqui group that is mentioned in connection with Littlefeather’s father, and many others. There are some regions in which Spanish is not even the main language. The Lacandon indigenous people inherit and still practice the Mayan culture.

  2. Liberals who label people who show insufficient obeisance to their favorite flavor of political orthodoxy “alt-righters” ought to be embarrassed. They’re the mirror image of conservatives who call the inadequately batshit among their number “RINOs”. It’s damn childish.

  3. Jerry,
    you could watch the whole Real Time with Bill Maher show from yesterday. Just search on YouTube for:
    real time with bill maher march 10 2023

    A video of the whole show usually shows up on 11 pm EST on the day it was taped (Friday). Then it stays on YouTube for about 48 hours (until it is taken down for copyright violation).
    After that you are left with whatever was uploaded to the show’s official YouTube channel.
    On this channel you’ll find a segment called “Overtime”, about 10 mins in length, in which Maher and his guests answer questions submitted by his audience. This segment is never included in the illegally uploaded videos of the show since it is taped after the end of the show (and probably not broadcast on HBO).

    Info on the guests of the show is here:

  4. Any chance you (PCCE) might be invited onto Real Time in the near future? You clearly have mutual friends (Dawkins and Pinker).

  5. There is a Real Time with Bill Maher podcast on Apple (and probably other services as well). You can listen to entire shows and the Overtime segments free.
    On this show McWhorter had a lot to say and he was as reasonable and eloquent as always. It’s not quite the same as watching the exchanges with facial expressions, etc. But if you don’t pay for HBO it’s a reasonable substitute.

  6. I agree that the point (whatever one thinks of it and whether one thinks that the Oscar ceremony was the appropriate venue) doesn’t depend on her being an authentic Indian*. However, I don’t see that much difference between her and Rachel Dolezal in that respect, the latter being interesting in that both the woke and the non-woke see her as a fraud.

    * Graham Greene: “Indians call Indians ‘Indians’”.

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