"Real Time" host Bill Maher unveiled a new "award show" on the caliber of the Oscars and the Emmys dedicated to honoring those who were brave enough to stand up against the cancel culture mob, something he vowed to do every year going forward.
Maher began his closing monologue on Friday by revealing he along with other A-listers were invited to the home of "a very prominent Hollywood producer" where he was asked to moderate a discussion about cancel culture.
"That was the point of the evening - how do we take a stand against cancel culture? And I suggested since we were mostly all in show business that we start at an award show to honor the brave people who have fought back," Maher said. "The idea was met with great enthusiasm by everyone and in short order, different people were suggesting the ways that they're very challenged to be put to use. And then of course being Hollywood, nothing happened. But it's still a good idea, so I'm going to do it right here, right now."
Dubbed the "Cojones Awards," the new award show honored "outstanding achievement in growing a pair" and each recipient received a golden statue of dangling testicles, which Maher referred to as "solid brass balls."
The first award went to his alma mater Cornell University and its president Martha Pollack, who rejected students' demand for trigger warnings to be included in their courses.
"She didn't cave in or hire a new dean of sensitivity, she just said, "No. College is for introducing you to new ideas, not for kissing your ass and making you feel wonderful and always right,'" Maher told his audience.
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The second award went to Trader Joe's, which stood behind its food products' ethnically-themed names like "Trader José's," "Trader Ming's" and "Arabian Joe's" after a petition called for their removal for being "racist." The grocery store chain issued a statement at the time saying inpart, "We disagree that any of these labels are racist and we do not make decisions based on petitions."
"You see how easy it is? So, to the home of the 19-cent banana, here, have some nuts," Maher said while holding the golden balls trophy.
The third recipient was Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos for his handling of the employee uproar towards Dave Chappelle's comedy special, telling staffers if they don't support the content then "Netflix may not be the best place for you."
"So for making the phrase 'don't let the door hit you in the ass' never sound better, this is for you Ted," Maher told the Netflix boss.
The final honoree was Ben Stiller, who earlier this year defended his 2008 film "Tropic Thunder" saying he makes "no apologies" for the edgy comedy and that he's "proud" of his work and everyone involved.
"And the lesson is if you stand up to the mob for just a day or two, their shallow, impatient, immature smartphone-driven gerbil minds will forget about it and go on to the next nothingburger and you, you still will have your cojones," Maher concluded.