During the online-only “Overtime” portion of Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the HBO host brought up the controversy surrounding Brendan Eich [pictured], the Mozilla CEO forced to resign over a 2008 contribution to California’s Proposition 8, the successful referendum that ensured marriage remained a union between one man and one woman. “I think there is a gay mafia,” Maher said. “I think if you cross them, you do get whacked.”
Full transcript courtesy of RCP:
MAHER: What do you think about the Mozilla CEO having to step down over his donation to a pro-Proposition 8 group.
The Mozilla — which I’m wearing right now, by the way. I didn’t know what Mozilla was. I saw it on my computer, but — it’s Firefix, right? It’s the browser.
So this guy apparently does not want gay people to get married and he had to step down. What do you think of that, the question asks.
FMR. REP. TOM DAVIS (R-VA): Because he gave $1,000 eight years ago and it’s come back to haunt him.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, FORBES: Well, and he gave it when President Obama was still against gay marriage. So, I don’t think it’s very fair.
MAHER: Good point. Also, I think there is a gay mafia. I think if you cross them, you do get whacked.
And with that, Maher joined Andrew Sullivan, another high-profile, pro-gay marriage leftist, in condemning the power-mad mob mentality that hounded a man from his job, not because of anything he did, but because of his personal beliefs:
The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
The term gay mafia might not have been invented by former-Hollywood heavyweight Michael Ovitz, but it did enter the American lexicon in 2002 when Ovitz attacked the “gay mafia” for bringing down a company he formed in 1999. In a 2002 interview with Vanity Fair, Ovitz blamed a cabal formed by the openly gay David Geffen for destroying his career.
The response from Geffen and a number of other media moguls was swift and severe. Ovitz was never able to recover. Today, the man who once ruled Hollywood has almost completely disappeared.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC