On Friday, Bill Maher took aim at President Donald Trump and his family, but social media was divided over his commentary about the First Lady's appearance.
Maher's monologue was typically controversial on Friday, framing his criticisms of Trump around the presumption that Republican lawmakers are meant to be seen as "father figures." In light of Father's Day, the comedian offered a kind of Freudian breakdown of U.S. politics, but in the process he mocked Melania Trump's figure.
“What kind of dad doesn’t take care of simple repairs? You know you’re president who’s let the place go when your wife has had more work done than roads and bridges," Maher quipped.
The whole monologue was predicated on Maher's assertion that pundits refer to the Republican Party as the "Daddy Party," and that President Trump does not fit the bill. However, for some this joke was a detour into body-shaming that made an already weird segment downright offensive.
"God, you suck so much," one person wrote.
"Bill Maher: constantly proving that misogyny isn’t just for conservatives!" added another.
Many political commentators agree that, whatever her actions and policies may reflect, mocking the First Lady's appearance is out of bounds. However, many of Maher's fans were all right with it, feeling that anything goes against the Trump administration — especially when the president has poked fun since the start of his campaign in 2016 at the disabled and minorities.
"He knows his Priorities. A trophy wife must look the part," one person tweeted. "Who cares if our bridges aren't safe. I won't be driving on them. And Melania claims to be a Rhodes Scholar in her solution to fix the potholes. She isn't dumb, but she thought New Guinea was an Italian Birth. Be Best girl."
"Now, now, Bill. You know the most recent 'work' was on her kidneys," added another, referencing the first lady's reported kidney surgery earlier this year. "It takes 4-6 weeks to recover from that bruising. The surgery just happened to make her eyes, mouth, neck & belly tighten up."
Maher has been criticized for focusing on the first lady's appearance before, but he has never backed down. Earlier this month, he gave an interview on XM Radio where he made a graphic sexual joke about Melania that had many listeners gasping.
“Melania is the good kind of immigrant. She does the jobs nobody else will do, like blow Donald J. Trump,” he said.0comments
Maher's joke fell on a weekend when the first lady was already trending. CNN aired a special on Melania, delving into her life and work from various angles. However, many viewers felt it did not do enough to criticize her role in the birtherism movement and other controversial campaigns. In addition, it led Trump write a tweet comparing his wife to Jackie O, which set social media ablaze.
"I won't be criticizing Melania's looks or her work history, but she is no Jackie O," one person insisted. "And she's no Michelle Obama. She isn't entitled to the cover of Vogue or any other positive publicity. She's done little to speak for herself, and what little she's done she's done badly."