“It’s a beautiful night here in LA. So beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.”
We know British comedian James Corden mostly for the innocent and the intimate – the way he hosts Carpool Karaoke is harmless, funny, original.
He is not someone commonly associated with tasteless jokes that are as hurtful as they are poorly timed.
But, now, he’s been forced to apologise after cracking jokes about Harvey Weinstein – the disgraced film producer accused by more than 20 women of rape and sexual assault.
The Late Late Show star was hosting an AmfAR charity gala in front of stars, including Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, when he thought the Weinstein saga was fair comedic game.
His first joke – the one above, about Weinstein requesting a massage – received a mixed reaction.
Corden responded by telling the audience: “I don’t know whether that groan was because you like that joke or you don’t like that joke.”
“If you don’t like that joke, you should probably leave now.”
He wasn't done: "It has been weird this week though, 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."
When the last remark was met with loud groans, he can be heard exclaiming: "Oh, come on!"
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) October 14, 2017
Actress Rose McGowan, who has been among the loudest voices to condemn Weinstein and late last week named him as her alleged rapist, was quick to voice her anger against Corden.
On Twitter, she wrote "YOU MOTHERF***ING PIGLET".
The jokes were widely condemned on social media where one user said: "If the problem is Hollywood not taking systemic sexual abuse seriously, the solution does not involve James Corden making light of the issue."
Another said: "I've always made it my mission to tell every American I meet that we hate James Corden in the UK. Now they know why."
Another said: "If today is the day James Corden is exposed for being the talentless and unfunny sycophant that he is, then hurray."
Everything with Harvey Weinstein explained. Post continues below.
The British comedian responded to the backlash via Twitter. He apologised for causing offence and labelled Weinstein's behaviour "inexcusable".
"To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter," Corden's tweet read. "I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention."