LOS ANGELES – Bill Maher has tested positive for Covid-19, forcing HBO to drop Friday’s scheduled recording of this week’s episode.
In a statement, HBO said Maher was “fully vaccinated” and “feeling fine.” Friday’s guests were to include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and “Hardcore History” podcast host Dan Carlin.
“Bill tested positive in weekly staff PCR testing for COVID. He is fully vaccinated and therefore asymptomatic and feeling well, ”HBO said. “Real-time” production has taken every precaution in following COVID CDC guidelines. No other staff or crew member has tested positive at this time. The show will be postponed to a later date. “
Maher is in the midst of his 19th season hosting the lecture and panel series that discusses politics and pop culture. As a host, Maher revel in his vexing views and is known to feature media figures who have been caught up in controversy such as Megyn Kelly, Sharon Osborne and Kellyanne Conway. He has also made inflammatory statements about medical issues in the past, including questioning the effectiveness of vaccines and whether there are links between vaccinations and autism.
“Real Time,” which records in Los Angeles, is the latest series to face a pandemic-related shutdown. Hollywood has essentially been successful in restarting film and television production by imposing strict security protocols for every soundstage and shoot.
But dozens of productions have faced the difficulty of having to shut down quickly because a member of the cast or crew tested positive for the coronavirus. The entertainment industry is still emerging from last year’s production slowdown, which set the stage for a very busy second half of this year and early next year for new releases.