Bill Maher blasts Oscar picks: Hollywood movies now are 'just depressing'

HBO’s Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBiden to appear on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' on Friday Right wing's new-found love for satire and the 'It is only a joke" defense Juan Williams: Biden and Manchin are 2021's most influential politicians MORE on Friday blasted this year’s Oscar nominations, arguing that Hollywood movies are “depressing” and that he would have preferred “a little escapism” after a year plagued by the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a segment on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the host began his commentary on the Academy Awards by saying the ceremony, which will air later this month, should “change their name to the Debbies — as in Debbie Downer.” 

“Because judging by this year’s Best Picture nominees, you couldn’t have a worse time at the movies if there was an active shooter in the theater,” Maher said at the beginning of his roughly six-and-a-half minute diatribe. 


The host then commented on each of the eight films nominated for Best Picture, including his argument that Americans “don’t have to go to church. If they want to feel guilty, dirty and bad they can watch ‘Nomadland.’” 

“That’s the one where the woman winds up living in her van after her husband dies of cancer,” he added. 

He then comments on “Judas and the Black Messiah,” in which the leader of the Black panthers is betrayed by an informant and killed by the FBI. 

Maher said that “Minari” is “the story of dirt poor Korean immigrants in Arkansas who put all their food in a barn but then grandma has a stroke and burns it down.” 

“Now enjoy the show,” he added sarcastically. 


“The 2021 Oscars, brought to you by razor blades, Kleenex and rope,” Maher continued. “And please welcome our host, the Sad Emoji.”

“We all had a rough year, a little escapism would have been appreciated,” he argued, prompting his audience to erupt in cheers. 

“What happened to show business? Did they all decide to quit cocaine at the same time?” he jokingly questioned. “Did they forget that Hollywood is still the number one place to go if you’re an egomaniac looking to fill that hole from your childhood with applause?

“Hollywood used to know how to make a movie that was about something, a movie for adults that was also entertaining and not just depressing,” Maher said. 

The Oscar-nominated movies, which were officially announced last month, saw politically-themed films among the top contenders, including "The Trial of the Chicago 7," from "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin. 

The film, which has secured six total nominations, is a dramatization of the prosecution of seven activists who participated in demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic National Convention that erupted into a police riot.