Culture

Oh Boy, James Corden Has Apologised For Some Shitty Jokes About Harvey Weinstein

"I am truly sorry for anyone offended."

James Corden

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I regret to inform you another mediocre Hollywood dude has something uncomfortable to say about Harvey Weinstein.

Late Late Show host James Corden has been facing widespread condemnation for jokes he made about the accused sexual predator at a charity gala over the weekend. “It’s a beautiful night here in LA,” he said. “So beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.”

“It has been weird this week though, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water,” he went on, facing what’s been described as nervous groans from the audience. “Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath.”

“Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but sadly he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest.”

These are, of course, all specific references to claims of sexual harassment and assault put forth against Weinstein.

The Hollywood producer has been accused of repeatedly coaxing young women into hotel rooms under false pretences and exerting pressure on them for sexual acts. Writer Liza Campbell claimed Weinstein got naked in what she thought was a business meeting and then asked her to get in a bath with him. The potted plant reference comes from Lauren Sivan. The journalist alleges Weinstein accosted her in a hallway of an empty restaurant and started masturbating, before ejaculating into a potted plant.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of rape as well as claims he threatened retaliation for any women refusing his advances. Regardless, Hollywood is being brought to reckoning on the issue of sexual assault/harassment and Corden’s jokes have been accused of trivialising alleged survivors’ experiences.

While some have said this could be “too soon” for these kind of comments, others have taken issue with the focus of the jokes. Corden wasn’t really skewering Weinstein or the wider problem of systemic abuse of women, as much as he was just listing serious alleged crimes while laughing. There can be power to that when things aren’t out in the open, but when the allegations are public knowledge, it’s hard to see what’s being achieved.

The late-night host also faced criticism from women who have accused Weinstein of rape including Asia Argento and Rose McGowan.

McGowan also pointed out that Corden has previously had a close working relationship with Weinstein and called on CBS (the network which broadcasts Corden’s show) to make a donation to an LA women’s centre to help address their host’s error.

Corden has since taken to Twitter to apologise for the jokes. “I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behaviour, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims,” he wrote. “Sexual assault is not laughing matter.”

This is the first public statement Corden has made about Weinstein since these accusations came to light.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.auIn an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.