Bill Maher Declares War On Trigger Warnings 

( Last week, “Real Time” host Bill Maher capped off his show by mocking the use of “trigger warnings.” 

Citing a recent study that showed that not only don’t trigger warnings work, but they make things worse for the very people for whom the trigger warnings are intended, Maher compared them to wearing a “seat belt made of broken glass.” 

He mocked universities that have compiled lists of words and phrases that should be banned, including “white paper,” “you guys,” and “virgin.” Maher pointed out that Brandeis University created a list of phrases that allude to violence, including “beating a dead horse,” “killing it,” and even “trigger warning.” 

Maher complained about how the campus trend is now everywhere from social media to entertainment. He joked about how trigger warnings are now added to films like “Gone with the Wind” and Disney’s animated classic “Dumbo.” One theater in Brooklyn was staging a production of the musical “Oklahoma” that included a trigger warning to the audience letting them know that there would be “moments of darkness and violence.” 

Maher pointed out that when his high school staged “Oklahoma,” he thought it was “corny and provincial,” adding that he couldn’t imagine how fragile someone would have to be to need a trigger warning before that show. 

He said the Globe Theatre in London added a trigger warning to “Romeo and Juliet” informing the audience that it included a suicide, joking that trigger warnings are now spoiler alerts. 

Maher said that rather than helping, trigger warnings only “reinforce” that “trauma is central to your identity,” enabling people to make trauma define their lives. He added that it is no wonder so many young people are filled with anxiety. 

Saying society has “already passed the point of parody,” Maher noted that an Australian student group had a trigger warning for making eye contact, adding “Even the Taliban are okay with eyes.”