James Corden is one of the half-dozen Brits that the American networks have decided to be the new voices of late night television. He’s the guy who everybody loves, cozy with every male and female A-lister, fat enough to be non-threatening with his standard celebrity comedy. A less humorous Ricky Gervais. Though Corden channeled Gervais for some Hollywood roast material hosting the super upscale amfAR AIDS Gala in Los Angeles. Imagine a scene from the royal court of King Louis XVI and you about have the amfAR Gala nailed.
Almost nobody in Hollywood and nobody in late night has attempted Weinstein jokes of yet. They’re either too embarrassed in their complicity, or too scared of the libel by association of any kind. SNL completely omitted mention of Weinstein in their first show following the Times hullabaloo, and this past weekend touched it barely with adjoining commentary about how Weinstein’s treatment of women is too criminal to find funny. Nobody puts efforts into their convenient rationalizations any longer.
Corden let his joke writers take a stab at a couple Weinstein jokes to warm up the six-figure AIDS charity check writing audience.
“Right here in L.A., it’s so beautiful Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.”
“It has been weird this week 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.”
Not much different than the celeb event haha jokes made about Weinstein at events in the past before the harassment explosion, but now it’s verboten because everybody found out the jokes were real.
Asia Argento, a claimed victim of Weinstein in the late 90’s, lambasted Corden after seeing the video:
“Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him.”
Rose McGowan fortified her position as the Elie Wiesel of the Weinstein fallout, by going Argento plus:
1) James Corden is a close friend of HW’s
2) Hearing the audience’s vile roars & laughs show EXACTLY what kind of HOLLYWOOD you really are.
Corden waited the customary five seconds then profusely apologized to the battered women in the Thirty Mile Zone:
“To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. 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.”
Either you thought it was funny or you didn’t. You work from a script. None of it was off the cuff. It’s never good when a comedian apologizes for offending people with their material. It’s like a blitzing linebacker apologizing for rough hits on a quarterback. It’s why you exist. You could deliver flowers for a living and never be in this situation.
It’s always amusing to watch self-righteous people consume themselves as their arbitrary moral landscape shifts post scandal or tragedy or election. The Catholics choose not to let parishioners rewrite the canon law weekly based on trending hashtags or the way cable news is leaning. It’s kept the church around and meaningful for a couple thousand years. Hollywood is less than a hundred and imploding. Everybody complains about overbearing, traditional rules, but so many are lost without them.