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Maher Slams the Canceling of Russian Citizens Over the Actions of the Russian Government

Janet Van Ham/HBO via AP

"Real Time" host Bill Maher criticized the canceling of Russian citizens over Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, arguing that "lumping" citizens who have nothing to do with the war in with their government is "not fair."


During Friday night's "Overtime" segment of his show, Maher suggested to his panelists that Russians being tied to the actions of their government would be considered racist if Russians were not white.

"Do you think we're, um, lumping the Russians too much with their government? I feel like in this country what we're doing now, everything Russian is bad and every Russian is bad," Maher said. "First of all, it's not fair. If they weren't white, I feel like we'd call that racism, you know. To lump everybody together -- not every, I mean, a lot of the Russian people don't know what's going on."

One panelist, GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, agreed with Maher's remarks, noting how Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev's concerts in Canada were canceled.

"There is a way that this has gone way too far," Anderson said.

Fellow panelist, author Max Brooks, chimed in to say that "strategically, it's unwise." 

"Because what we were very smart about doing in World War II is, we knew the war was going to come to an end," Brooks said. "And we knew that if we punished all Germans the way we did after World War I, we would back them into a corner. So we crafted the narrative that 'You Germans are led astray by Hitler,' because we knew, even if in some cases it wasn't true, you know, we said to the average Nazi, 'you still got to run the post office.'"


"So we have to think, we cannot back the Russians as an entire group into a corner. If we can separate Putin from the Russians in general, then we don't only have a victory, we have a post-war plan," Brooks continued.

This comes as penalties have been imposed on Russian citizens in retaliation of Putin's war on Ukraine.

Russian restaurants and churches have been vandalized in North America, a Russian Formula 1 driver was terminated by his racing team, a U.K. tour of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia was canceled and the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing prohibited Russian athletes from competing.

Animals are not even safe from the canceling of Russians, with the International Cat Federation banning Russian-bred cats from participating in the FIFe show.

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