Bill Maher says his atheism cost him an Emmy

The good news:  Real Time with Bill Maher returns on September 17th.

The bad news:  Bill might continue to spout his anti-Western medicine BS and fall back on the old “I’m just a guy asking questions” excuse when cornered on it.  (But maybe not.  He’s a smart guy, and I’m hoping he’ll be smart enough to publicly change his mind.)

More good news:  Maher has been nominated for an Emmy 26 times…

More bad news:  …but he’s never won.  In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Maher claims it’s because of his atheism.  “A panel of like 10 people watches one tape.  If half of those people are religious, that probably eliminates me right there.  A lot of people wouldn’t vote for such an outspoken atheist, someone who made Religulous (1)(2)(3).”

Maybe it’s because of his atheism.  Maybe not.  I’m not a Hollywood insider, but I’ve never gotten the impression that lack of belief has ever been a particular stumbling block in showbiz.  If anything, I’d think it was the other way around.  Can you imagine a born-again Christian–regardless of talent–winning an Emmy?

If anything has hurt Maher, it’s that he’s an all-around button-pusher.  He hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind–a characteristic that got his show Politically Incorrect canceled at ABC.  Maher pisses off half of Hollywood with every show, and no one seems exempt from his barbs.  That–rather than his atheism–is probably what keeps him from getting an Emmy.

Set your DVRs for HBO, 10PM this Friday, September 17th!

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