- Oliver Stone is just the latest Club Random guest to join Bill Maher and discuss dangerous conspiracy theories.
- Stone defends Putin and questions COVID origins, vaccines, and the 2020 election, embracing contrarian positions.
- Stone was coy, but the ultimate effect of his language trends toward support of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and attacks against Israel and America.
The recently embattled filmmaker Oliver Stone doubled down on his pro-Russia sentiment in a recent appearance on Club Random, Bill Maher’s conversational podcast. Between sips of red wine and puffs of weed, Stone defended Russian president Vladimir Putin, questioned the origins of COVID-19 and the efficacy of the vaccine, expressed his distrust in the 2020 election and idea that Donald Trump may have won, and expounded upon essentially every contrarian position he could think of. The poorly received Maher, who has slid further and further right in the past few years, eventually asked in exasperation, “Is there a conspiracy theory you don’t believe?”
Ever since 2016’s political biopic Snowden, Stone has been concentrating his efforts on documentaries, but not to the acclaim the director has been used to in the past with other politically motivated historical and biographical films like Nixon, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Salvador, and W. Unfortunately, his two conspiratorial documentaries about John F. Kennedy haven’t been received well. As Owen Glieberman of Variety writes, “In JFK Revisited, Oliver Stone leads us through the looking glass, all right, but the real question is whether he’s found the truth or an even more hypnotically spectacular lie.”
More controversial have been Stone’s fawning documentaries about the dictators Fidel Castro (he has made three) and, especially, Vladimir Putin in The Putin Tapes. Stone begins is Club Random appearance with Bill Maher by defending his position with Putin and criticizing Stephen Colbert for the tough interview he conducted in 2017. Stone’s support of Putin only gets more and more controversial as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. After raving about Russia, Maher eventually asked Stone:
Is it your personal encounters with the Russian people that is the providence of your great loyalty to the Russian people? Where does it come from? Why Russia of all the countries in the world?
“I got to know Putin pretty well for an American, and I choose to believe that there is a new path in his thinking,” explained Stone. “And he exhibited that to me on several occasions, constantly saying that he was not at all a communist. He didn’t like communism. He served under it. He saw its evils. He was intelligent.” He continued to defend Russia while speaking with Maher:
“Russia was broke. It was finished. The people were dying. Men were dying 10 years earlier, women were dying seven years earlier. The age expectancy was horrible. It was a joy when Putin put it back on its feet. He took a lot of people out of poverty. He gave it its dignity back, its respect, from 2000 to now […] This is not our goal, [Americans] don’t want to have Russia back on its feet. We don’t want an independent Russia, we want to strip them of their sovereignty so that we can move into the Eurasian continent, which is rich, rich, rich, and Russia is too, thousands of natural resources.”
Oliver Stone’s COVID Conspiracies
Stone’s pro-Russian sentiment has bled into his career more than The Putin Tapes, with the director having made the anti-Ukraine and pro-Russian documentary Ukraine on Fire. In the Bill Maher interview on Club Random, Stone alleged there were American-Ukraine labs in Ukraine and insinuated that they had something to do with COVID, claims which have been debunked. Stone’s thoughts about COVID didn’t stop there, with the director stating that he would prefer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as President over Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and expressing skepticism over the existence of vaccines in general:
“I had polio shots and all that […] But I started to meet people who were actually f*cked up by those vaccines, like the polio. Bobby Kennedy brings a lot of focus on this in his book. Tony Lyons published the book; Tony’s daughter got a shot for smallpox, I believe it was, and her mind was affected since she was about 14.”
“But that’s not to say that the smallpox vaccine wasn’t a vaccine we needed,” replied Maher, “and if the smallpox was going around again, I’d be the first one in line to get it.”
“You should talk to him first before you do,” said Stone, who continued by explaining that he’s taken Ivermectin for COVID-19. “With COVID, people came up with ideas, including Ivermectin and all those other things. And they were working for certain people. So it worked. I’ve taken it.”
“I did too,” admitted Maher.
“And they really said no, you can’t take Ivermectin, and whatever, and other things. So it’s the law, the concept of authoritarian government that is really bothering me,” replied Stone, despite there never being a law or any legal mandate to not take Ivermectin or even to take the COVID vaccine unless you worked for the government.
“I would say the form that Trump is threatening us with is even worse,” responded Maher, referring to the danger of authoritarianism.
“And which is what?” asked Stone defensively.
“Come on, you know Trump has still not conceded the election,” said Maher.
“I mean, do you know for a fact that he lost? I’m just curious, okay, I just don’t know all the facts,” whined Stone. The conversation continued in this fashion, with Stone teasing various conspiracy theories and openly embracing others. With Bill Maher having distanced himself from the left by attacking the LGBTQ+ community, Generation Z and Millennials, and things he finds ‘woke,’ the so-called comedian seems like the perfect fit for Oliver Stone, who is just a continuation of Maher’s other cozy guests — Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, Vivek Ramaswamy, Sam Harris, Russel Brand, Greg Gutfeld, Kid Rock, and many more totally rational people.
If you’re someone who’s disgusted by the right-wing turn by certain talk show hosts, the below video may be hilarious for you. In it, Tim Heidecker impersonates a Club Random episode using his fun podcast, Office Hours: