British comedian James Corden hosted the eighth annual amFAR gala in Beverly Hills last week and happened to joke about the infamous Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations.
While a celebrity publicly voicing their opinions about a big scandal is no rare case, how soon is it too soon to crack jokes based on an issue as sensitive as sexual harassment in the showbiz industry?
During his set, James said, "This is a beautiful room, this is a beautiful night here in L.A. It is so beautiful that Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel room to give him a massage." This was a clear reference to multiple allegations against the producer, where he tried to harass women under the pretext of similar situations.
The joke, while it earned him a couple of laughs, also caused a heavy groan amongst the audience. And to that, Corden smugly responded, "I don't know whether that groan was that you liked that joke, or you don't like the joke. If you don't like the joke, you should probably leave right now."
If only it had stopped at that, maybe this wild uproar against the set wouldn't have happened. But sadly, the 39-year-old continued, joking, "It has been weird this week though hasn't it, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water, ask any of the women who watched him take a bath, it's weird watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight but he'll settle for whatever potted plant is closest."
As expected, the backlash was immense from social media calling him out once again, within the span of a month, for his questionable choice of humour to entertain audiences with. One of the most iconic and talked about Twitter backlash to the joke was Rose McGowan's.
The actress had recently come forward with her own allegations against Weinstein, claiming that he had raped her. This caused her Twitter account to get suspended and also gave rise to the #WomenBoycottTwitter storm.
Rose's backlash started with her swearing in all caps, followed by a thread of tweets stating her pure disgust towards the joke and how well it was received.
1) James Corden is a close friend of HW's— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 15, 2017
Rose wasn't the only celebrity to react, as Anthony Bourdain publicly voiced his own distaste regarding the matter.
James Corden reveals snickering Hollywood in all its grotesquerie . It's not about masturbation, asshole. It's about rape.— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 15, 2017
And other regular people took the chance to slam the comedian too..
Americans have discovered that James Corden is a tool.— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) October 15, 2017
We wondered when you'd notice.
No, we're not having him back.
James Corden unlikely hit in US, throwing it all away for a few laughs over an alleged rapist, apologies when it doesn't work, don't suffice— Zachary B. (@LeedsZac) October 16, 2017
The most disgusting thing about this James Corden drama is that he is being called a comedian.— Kiel Phillips (@kiel_phillips) October 16, 2017
James has, once again, taken to Twitter to apologise for his joke. It's almost déjà vu for The Late Late Show host as he was apologising on Twitter not so long ago about hypocritically kissing Sean Spicer at the Emmy's, after having dissed the politician publicly so many times.
His apology was in a series of two messages, that read:
To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey's inexcusable behavior, (1/2)— James Corden (@JKCorden) October 15, 2017
but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention. (2/2)— James Corden (@JKCorden) October 15, 2017
Twitter is clearly not buying this and while a public apology does resolve everything, or so it seems, this user's view on the situation does give a lot to think about it.
He's apologizing because it backfired. Now that doesn't really count does it.— Gina ✨ (@GinaAugust) October 15, 2017
And Twitter has given its verdict:
Somewhere in Hell Satan is prepping a room for Weinstein, Cosby & Woody Allen where they're forced to listen to James Corden's material— Edward DeCesare (@EdDeCesare) October 15, 2017
Things that aren't funny:— Miriam Brett (@MiriamBrett) October 15, 2017
- Rape culture
- Victim blaming
- Violence against women
- The abuse of power
- James Corden