Bill Maher has sparked a backlash over a request he had for Bella Thorne during a recent interview.
The actress and singer appeared on his podcast, Club Random with Bill Maher, and was asked to make a ‘dead dad joke’.
It began when Thorne was describing how she used to use laughter ‘as a coping mechanism’.
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Addressing the fact the 24-year-old’s father died when she was just nine, the comedian said to her: “Give me a dead dad joke, come on.”
She responded: “No, no, no… It’s not like I have a literal dead dad joke… It’s more that there’s conversations being had and there’s an opportunity to you know… make a dead dad joke.”
Commenting on the moment on Twitter, users were quick to brand Maher ‘disrespectful’.
One wrote: “WTF is wrong with @billmaher? Does he have zero respect for people?”
“@bellathorne how did you not punch @billmaher in the face in that interview?” asked another. “He’s a pig. I can’t believe you didn’t walk out. My dad also died when I was 8. I’m 57 and still in therapy for f*** sake.”
Pitching in, a third remarked: “Why is something so personal and painful being filmed? @billmaher is a comedian, not a therapist. He sometimes says stupid stuff. Why is she even talking to him about something so serious?”
Thorne paid tribute to her late father on Instagram on his most recent anniversary, saying she knows he’d ‘approve’ of her life partner.
She penned: “Every year I use the same photo because I don’t have many with you in them, I stopped counting the years since you died.
“I don’t know how long it’s been. I just know it’s been a long time without you. Really upset that I’m engaged and you can’t be here to approve of my life partner… Although I know you would.”
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