Bill Maher Compares Nickelodeon's 'Quiet On Set' to Neverland Ranch Atmosphere

Bill Maher tackles troubling trends in entertainment industry.

by Nouman Rasool
Bill Maher Compares Nickelodeon's 'Quiet On Set' to Neverland Ranch Atmosphere
© Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Bill Maher, the acerbic host of HBO's "Real Time," found himself deeply troubled by the revelations of a new Max documentary titled "Quiet on Set," which sheds light on the troubling experiences of child stars on Nickelodeon sets.

Maher, who is known for his provocative takes, used his "New Rules" segment to address the unsettling parallels he sees between the depicted environments and the infamous Neverland Ranch, drawing a stark comparison by calling the studio "Neverland Ranch with craft services." The documentary, now a topic of widespread discussion in Los Angeles, captures disturbing scenes that Maher describes as "scene after scene of the child stars of their day being exposed to… degradation." The talk show host, visibly disturbed by the content, remarked, "I was grossed out and I’ve gone camping with John Waters."

Maher Confronts Hypocrisy

Maher didn't shy away from controversial commentary, linking the situation to broader political and societal issues.

He pointed out that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had previously made similar accusations against Disney, which were met with ridicule. Maher suggested a pervasive hypocrisy, where certain serious accusations are dismissed based on the political affiliation of the accuser.

He provocatively noted that "the left will support child f**king if the wrong party calls it out." In a poignant critique, Maher highlighted the case of Brian Peck, who was rehired in children’s television after serving 16 months for abuse, using the phrase "For pedophiles in Hollywood, it’s a small world after all," to underscore the disturbing leniency within the industry.

Further expanding his critique, Maher took aim at what he perceives as the exploitation of children in modern culture, from 'Instagram moms' to the controversial Drag Queen Story Hours, which he argues serve more the adults involved than the children.

He clarified his stance on drag queens, stating there is nothing inherently wrong with the choice, but questioned the appropriateness of their involvement with children. Maher also addressed the sensitive issue of gender discussions with young children, describing them as "gullible morons who just want to please grownups." He labeled the excessive focus on gender identity as a form of entrapment, suggesting that it pressures children into roles and ideas they might not naturally embrace.

The host concluded his segment by calling for a pause on imposing the adult cultural wars on children, especially in the heated climate of political elections. Maher’s show also touched on other relevant topics, including a conversation with fitness guru Jillian Michaels about the dangers of trendy weight-loss drugs and a panel discussion featuring prominent figures such as Jon Meacham and Jane Ferguson, who delved into current political and media issues, including the New York Trump Trial and the controversial resignation of an NPR reporter.