Real Time With Bill Maher has been known to get pretty heated and very, very loud in places. Just ask Ben Affleck going off on one, or just recently with Jim Jefferies taking on Piers Morgan.
However, Maher may have crossed a line with his guest this week - Milo Yiannopoulos. Maher's reasoning behind bringing on Yiannopoulos is due, in part, to his vocal criticism of US colleges preventing certain speakers - such as Yiannopoulos - on campus. However, Yiannopoulos has done more than simply court controversy in college-speaking tours.
He was permanently banned from Twitter in 2016 for leading a hate campaign against Leslie Jones, which forced the actress off Twitter for a period of time. Milo's followers, meanwhile, continued sending Jones racist and sexist tweets whilst Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter. That's only the most recent stuff, too.
In fact, Yiannopoulos' views are so toxic that guests are starting to back out of Real Time With Bill Maher. Jeremy Scahill, the co-founder of The Intercept, was booked as a guest panellist for the same show to go up against Yiannopoulos. In a statement released on Twitter, Scahill said that Yiannopoulos is "many bridges too far."
Why I will not appear this week on Real Time with Bill Maher. pic.twitter.com/SOoE3udrDr
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) February 15, 2017
"He has ample venues to spew his hateful diatribes. There is no value in “debating” him. Appearing on Real Time will provide Yiannopoulos with a large, important platform to openly advocate his racist, anti-immigrant campaign. It will be exploited by Yiannopoulos in an attempt to legitimize his hateful agenda," explained Scahill in his statement, also pointing out Yiannopolous' penchant for specifically naming and shaming ordinary people in public speeches. "Real Time, of course, has the right to book whomever it wants on its show, including Yiannopoulos. But I cannot participate in an event that will give a platform to such a person."
Meanwhile, HBO has confirmed that extra security will be on hand for the recording, as riots broke out as previous events hosted by Yiannopoulos.