James Corden took home three Emmy Awards over the weekend — but he’s currently in the spotlight for a recent monologue that addressed a more serious issue than the Carpool Karaoke star is usually known for. On his Late Late Show with James Corden last Thursday night, the British comedian took the time to take his fellow talk show host Bill Maher to task over recent fat-shaming remarks.
“Fat shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback,” Maher, who is the star of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, opined late in August. “Some amount of shame is good. We shamed people out of smoking and into wearing seat belts. We shamed them out of littering and most of them out of racism. Shame is the first step in reform.”
To this, Corden had some thoughts of his own. “Fat-shaming never went anywhere,” he responded. “Ask literally any fat person. We are reminded of it all the time.” He went on: “There’s a common and insulting misconception that fat people are stupid and lazy, and we’re not… We know that being overweight isn’t good for us and I’ve struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight and I suck at it. I’ve had good days and bad months.”
In a follow-up interview with Entertainment Tonight after winning his Emmys, Corden further explained his response, saying he has “nothing but respect” for Maher. “I saw something that I felt like I had experience with,” he explained. “Ultimately, I think I know a little more about what it’s like to be overweight than perhaps some other people do. So, to see someone talk like that made me feel like, ‘Well, this is something I feel like we should talk about.'” So far, Corden’s response has continued to garner a warm response, with the video of his comments racking up nearly two million views.
This is not the first time Maher has come under fire for controversial statements on a range of subjects; in 2017, he made a public apology after using a racial slur.