Four months ago James Corden delivered an almost eight-minute long monologue slamming Bill Maher’s fat-shaming comments – and the comedian is doubling down on his stance.
In September 2019, Maher made the controversial point that “fat isn’t a birth defect,” telling his audience, “Nobody comes out of the womb needing to buy two seats on the airplane. Fat-shaming doesn’t need to end. It needs to make a comeback.”
Corden responded on his “Late Late Show,” describing to the audience how he first encountered the segment, thinking, “I’m watching this and all I could think of was, ‘Oh man, somebody needs to say something about this. If only there was someone with a platform who knew what it was actually like to be overweight.’ And then I realized, oh, that will be me.”
In an interview with the New Yorker published Monday, Corden recalls working on his rebuttal to Maher for three days.
“I just think it’s out of touch with actual people,” Corden said about Maher’s attitude. “You cannot forget what most people’s lives are like.”
The “Cats” star said you can’t forget that some people’s lives are difficult.
He continued: “Maybe the only slice of joy in your life is that cheeseburger. And it’s cheap. There are no chubby kids at my son’s school, because it’s a private school on the West Side of L.A.”
Fat people are not ‘stupid or lazy’:James Corden rebukes Bill Maher’s fat-shaming
Corden has long been an advocate against fat-shaming. When he was cast to play a janitor in “Hollyoaks,” the comedian recalled being upset that a character’s bedroom was decorated with posters of junk food.
He wouldn’t film his scenes until the posters were removed.
“I thought that they were just really being nasty about anyone that’s overweight,” he said. “I remember saying to the guy, ‘I don’t know one person who would take a picture of a hot dog and a burger and stick them on the wall.’ “
Given the comedian’s success, It’s hard to believe Corden once thought he wouldn’t land any prominent roles because of his weight. He said after his role in the play “The History Boys,” which ran from 2004 to 2006, he found that his thinner castmates were getting booked for big roles while he was getting smaller ones.
“I was good for playing a bubbly judge in a courtroom, or I’d be the guy who drops off a TV to Hugh Grant in a movie,” he said.
Corden said representation of overweight people in the media was so one-sided that it gave a very skewed and unfair perspective.
“If someone came from another planet and put on the television, you would think that people who are big or overweight don’t have sex. They don’t fall in love. They’re friends of people who fall in love,” he said. “They’re probably not that bright, but they’re a good time, and they’re not as valuable as people who are really good-looking.”
Contributing: Maeve McDermott