By Nick Reilly
September 18, 2017 at 10:45 AM EDT

James Corden has been accused of “normalizing fascism” after he kissed former White House press secretary Sean Spicer at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

The former White House official made a surprise appearance during the prestigious ceremony Sunday night to proclaim that the viewing figures would be at an all-time high – making fun of his notorious claim that Donald Trump’s inauguration received the biggest crowds ever.

But his appearance received a swift backlash from viewers, and their anger soon extended to James Corden after he was photographed kissing Spicer on the cheek backstage.

“That photo of Corden kissing Spicer has awakened peak 2010 levels of Corden hate. HEY US TV HOSTS. STOP NORMALISING FASCISM FOR A BIT OK?!?”, one viewer wrote.

Commenting on Instagram, another wrote: “The man who denied Hitler gassed people during the Holocaust, yeah let’s show this man some love. Wtf? Are you all out of your minds, this is sickening!!!! The treatment Spicer got tonight was sickening. He should never have appeared, never mind being given ‘celebrity’ status. What the hell is wrong with you all?!”

Another likened the moment to Donald Trump’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show during the 2016 election when the TV host controversially ruffled Trump’s hair.

“Corden makes Spicer look like a beacon of honour and sincerity. It’s like [Fallon] ruffling Trump’s hair all over again: proper enablers”, they wrote.

You can see a selection of reactions below.

During his tenure as Press Secretary, Spicer became renowned for frequent gaffes and was forced to apologize after claiming that Hitler did not use chemical weapons during the Holocaust.

Likening the Nazi dictator to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Spicer told journalists at the White House: “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

He eventually left the post in July after a tumultuous six-month spell.