Bill Maher has defended Armie Hammer after numerous women accused the actor of emotional and physical abuse.
Last month, women began sharing screenshots of alleged messages from Hammer where he expressed cannibal, rape and kidnapping fantasies, and claimed that he had been manipulative towards them.
The Call Me By Your Name star has been dropped by his agent and publicist in light of the allegations, but said in an Instagram post last month: “I’m not responding to these bullshit claims.” His attorney has also called the allegations “patently untrue”.
Last week (February 5), Maher came to Hammer’s defence on his show Real Time with Bill Maher. “I think we can talk about this in relation to where feminism is because, apparently, Armie Hammer has a predilection to tell his dates he wants to ‘eat’ them,” he said. “And who wouldn’t want to be eaten by Armie Hammer? Come on.”
He went on to suggest that Hammer had “ethical human cannibal fetishism” and that he thought porn was to blame. “We’re in such a porn-centric society – people have been watching really hardcore porn for so long that ‘spank you’ doesn’t really cut it anymore,” he said.
Maher then shifted the blame onto Hammer’s alleged victims, saying: “My point is that the women who are objecting to this now, who went out with Armie Hammer – willingly – and stayed in – willingly – and there wasn’t physical bad stuff happening, OK… we can all agree that’s intolerable.
“But if there wasn’t any physical coercion, why isn’t this just filed under, ‘That seemed like a good idea at the time to let Armie Hammer eat me, but it really wasn’t.’ It seems like we don’t have any ownership anymore, of our own choices.”
When panellist Charlotte Alter noted one of the women had accused Hammer of carving his initials into her body, Maher responded: “Did he tie her down and do that? I don’t think so.”
Hammer’s ex-wife shared a statement on the controversy surrounding the actor earlier this month (February 2). “I’ve been trying to process everything that has transpired,” she wrote. “I am shocked, heartbroken, and devastated.
“Heartbreak aside, I am listening, and will continue to listen and educate myself on these delicate matters. I didn’t realise how much I didn’t know. I support any victim of assault or abuse and urge anyone who has experienced this pain to seek the help she or he needs to heal.”