Comedian James Corden has issued an apology for jokes he made at a gala Friday night about embattled Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the torrent of sexual abuse allegations against him, which elicited a mixed reaction from the audience and drew criticism online from some of Weinstein’s accusers.
“To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter,” the Late Late Show host tweeted Sunday. “I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior,” he added, “but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention.”
While emceeing Friday’s AmfAR gala in Beverly Hills, Corden made several jokes about Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, including actresses Rose McGowan and Asia Argento. Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consenual sex.
“It’s a beautiful night here in L.A,” Corden said in his opening remarks. “It’s so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.”
The quip elicited laughter, groans, and gasps, and Corden added, “I don’t know whether that groan was that you like that joke or you don’t like that joke. If you don’t like that joke, you should probably leave now.”
As cellphone footage circulated over the weekend, McGowan and Argento both blasted Corden on social media.
McGowan called him a “motherf—ing piglet,” while Argento tweeted, “Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him.”
See their tweets and video from the gala below.