HBO personality and comedian Bill Maher is facing backlash after comparing former One Direction boy bander Zayn Malik to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on his show last night.
Maher joked about Malik, who was born in England and was raised Muslim, saying “Just tell me two things Zayn: Which one in the band were you, and where were you during the Boston Marathon?”
Soon after the clip surfaced, a petition began circling calling for Maher to publicly apologize for the joke.
People on Twitter also did not take kindly to the “joke.”
US talk show host Bill Maher should be fired for his comments comparing @zaynmalik to terrorist. Disgusting. #AxeBillMaher
— theversion.co.uk (@theversion) April 6, 2015
Apparently #BillMaher thinks it's OK to compare #ZaynMalik to the Boston Bomber http://t.co/dau8ocoJHG pic.twitter.com/ApgfdH5I8j
— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) April 6, 2015
Bill Maher "joke" about #ZaynMalik would be funny, but dumb, IF he wasn't well known for his poisonous hatred of Muslims. #BillMaher
— MJ Rosenberg (@MJayRosenberg) April 5, 2015
Maher is no stranger to controversy, both for comments about Muslims and the Boston Marathon. In October 2014, Maher got in a shouting match with Ben Affleck over his comments about Islam, saying “It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.” And in November 2013, Maher had this to say about the Red Sox World Series parade stopping to commemorate the tragedy.
“So the parade, they go to the place where the marathon bombing took place, they put the World Series statue there and they sing God Bless America and they say ‘Boston strong’ and they chant ‘USA,’ you know. It was again, a bad day, three people died, that’s terrible. More were maimed, that’s horrible, but unfortunately that happens every day, in car accidents and everything else. I mean, your city was not leveled by Godzilla.“
Stay classy, Bill.