The star-studded event, which was held on September 13 and hosted by Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Naomi Osaka, made its return after its 2020 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the gala was held with certain safety measures in place: According to a spokesperson from the Met, and wear a mask indoors when not eating or drinking.
While vaccinations were enforced, the commentator took to his HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher to question why photos of the event showed stars sans mask, while the servers and others working the event were seen with facial coverings.
“I’ve seen, having been to a few parties since the pandemic began, and that is, the people going to the parties don’t wear masks. But the servers wear masks,” Maher said in conversation with author Dan Savage and journalist Gillian Tett about the Met Gala. “There’s something about this that’s not liberal to me. These are the liberal swells of the world. But if we’re all vaccinated, do the germs know who the good people are?! It seems a little wrong.”
While Maher isn’t only speaking about the gala, it’s worth noting that an indoor mask mandate was allegedly enforced at the event. The red carpet photos are taken outside, on the steps leading into the gala, however, photographs are not allowed inside the event.
Savage acknowledged that the policy seemed “a little security-theater-y,” while also pointing out that any degree of mask wearing can reduce transmission.
Maher, however, noted, “But, ‘let’s just make the help wear the mask’? That’s the liberal approach?”
In addition to taking issue with the mask policy, Maher called out Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s dress, which read “Tax the Rich.”
While the host pointed out that “It’s not like we don’t tax the rich at all,” Savage and Tett pushed back, reminding Maher that the message was about growing income inequality, and not meant to be taken so literally.