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James Corden apologises for those “offensive” Harvey Weinstein jokes

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Kayleigh Dray
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James Corden has apologised for making offensive jokes about disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the sexual assault allegations that have been made against him.

The Gavin and Stacey star made the comments at the amfAR Gala in Los Angeles on Sunday (15 October), when he took to the stage and cracked some jokes about the ongoing scandal. However, his material prompted groans and awkward titers from the audience – and has since been condemned by two of the women who have accused Weinstein of rape.



Rose McGowan, who alleges that Weinstein raped her, tweeted a clip of Corden’s speech and wrote: “You mother**king piglet.”

In a second tweet, she added: “Hearing the audience’s vile roars [and] laughs show exactly what kind of Hollywood you really are.”

Meanwhile, Asia Argento, who alleges that Weinstein raped her when she was 21, tweeted a video of Corden’s jokes.

She added the caption: “Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him.”

Corden has since apologised for causing offence, insisting that his jokes were intended to shame Weinstein – not his victims.

“To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter,” he tweeted.

“I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behaviour, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended. That was never my intention.”



In footage of the event, Corden can be heard telling his audience that it is a beautiful night in LA – “so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked me to go up to his hotel to give him a massage”.

Noting that his joke had not had quite the reaction he had hoped for, Corden continues: “I don’t know whether that groan was that you liked that joke or you don’t like that joke.

“If you don’t like that joke you should probably leave now.”

That caveat in place, Corden goes on to say: “It has been weird this week hasn’t it, 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.”

Finally, Corden concludes that “Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight but he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest” – but, as the audience continue to groan, The Late Late Show host seems utterly bewildered by the negative reaction.

“Oh, come on!” he argues.

Corden’s comments have been criticised by the online community, with many insisting this is an example of “a desperate man stating the abuse as a punchline”.

“There is nothing funny about sexual abuse of any kind,” wrote one Twitter user.

Another added that the jokes were “inappropriate” and “diminished the bravery of the women who have come forward” about Weinstein’s behaviour.

“Making jokes about sexual assault and rape fuels predatory behaviour,” said another.



Weinstein has now been publicly accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by some 20 women, including Gwyneth PaltrowAngelina JolieCara DelevingneRomola GaraiLéa Seydoux and Asia Argento. Many of the women disclosed these revelations to reporters from The New Yorker and The New York Times, prompting others to come forward.

The disgraced producer, who has since been sacked from his own company and denies any allegations of non-consensual sex or “acts of retaliation” against those who refused alleged advances, has said in a statement via his spokesperson that he “has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”

Images: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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