James Corden may have landed on his feet hosting The Late Late Show in the US and rubbing shoulders with the biggest names on the planet, but he’s not immune from criticisim, after being asked to explain an offensive sketch from the past.
Having been in the comedy game for a number of years, his rise to fame kicked off when he appeared in Gavin and Stacey, where he was teamed up with Matthew Horne. The pair went on to do Horne & Corden – a comedy sketch show that lasted one season in 2009.
One of the characters, camp news anchor Tim Goodall (played by Horne), was deemed homophobic by the LGBT community, and has now been questioned on the character.
Speaking about the offensive comedy sketch to Attitude, Corden said he ‘can’t imagine we would do that sketch today.’
‘I think you could keep the strand of the idea, which was, at that point on television there was Graham Norton, Dale Winton, and Alan Carr, and the idea was if there was a war correspondent who happened to be a flamboyant gay man, what would happen?’ Corden expressed.
When asked whether it’d hold up in 2018, the talk how host was less than convinced: ‘I don’t think we would do it now; we’d try to find a cleverer way of doing it.’
The comedian also said it was ‘really important to remember’ that ‘being offended is everybody’s right,’ which will no doubt ruffle more feathers by dismissing the nature of the joke and who it takes a pop at.
‘Being offended is as particular to you as being hungry or having a pain in your leg,’ Corden went on.
‘It doesn’t mean you take offence and go, “Well, I’m offended and everyone else should be”,’ he said, as he attempted to rationalise offensive jokes and how people were entitled to be offended by all sorts.
But he wasn’t done yet. ‘My intention is never to cause offence but there’ll be people who are offended by Sam Smith talking about his potential wedding,’ he used as a strange example. ‘There will be people who will take offence with that. I disagree with them, but I respect anybody’s right to be offended.’
Some will dismiss Corden’s above (and unrelated) equivalence of a gay wedding and making fun of gay people in a comedy sketch as incomparable, while others may agree that comedy can often be offensive and that it’s part and parcel of the industry.
The star came under pressure recently when he made sexual assault jokes at charity gala just days after former movie producer Harvey Weinstein had been outed as a sexual predator.
The actor is currently starring in new movie Peter Rabbit.
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