“I must say, comparing a woman to Demi Moore looking her hottest is not exactly the worst insult I’ve ever heard in the world,” the talk show host said on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, referencing Chris Rock’s G.I. Jane joke during the 2022 Academy Awards as well as the onstage altercation with Will Smith that followed. “I mean, alopecia, it’s not leukemia, OK? Alopecia is when your hair falls out … there are worse things.”
Later in the show, Maher brought up the topic again in a roundtable with politician Andrew Yang and legal analyst Laura Coates, saying, “If you are so lucky in life as to have that be your medical problem, just say, ‘Thanks, God.’ It’s not life-threatening. It’s part of — for most people, 80 percent of men, 50 percent of women — it’s part of aging.
“Aging is, trust me I know, it’s the degradation of the flesh. It happens to all of us,” he continued. “And you know, just put on a f—ing wig like everybody else at the Oscars if it bothers you so much.”
For her part, Pinkett Smith has been open about learning to accept her alopecia with grace, though her husband clearly didn’t take kindly to Rock’s public swipe while presenting the award for best documentary feature.
The eventual best actor Oscar winner has faced public consequences for his actions since, including resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and having two film projects — Fast and Loose and Bad Boys 4 — face uncertain futures.
Watch Maher’s opening monologue about the Oscars below.