NEW YORK — Ben Affleck feels more comfortable speaking his mind than pretending to say what people want to hear. So before receiving his award at Wednesday’s Save the Children Illumination Gala, he praised wife Jennifer Garner on her dedication to their family, and then shared insight into his recent spat with “Real Time” host Bill Maher over generalized remarks about Islam.

On an episode last month, Affleck took issue with Maher saying that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia.”

“I was ultimately making a ‘Sesame Street’ argument. You don’t judge a whole group of people based on the actions of a few,” Affleck said.

The “Gone Girl” actor makes no bones about speaking his mind when it comes to hot-button issues.

“That’s the environment around my dinner table when we talk politics,” he said. “I think I’d rather tell the truth and say what I believe in and make people unhappy than sort of pretend to think something else to accommodate them and try to be liked. That’s just the way it goes and I don’t think I’m any great champion of anything, but if they’re going to put me on a show, I’m going to say what I think.”