As Hollywood begins to deal with the aftermath of American film producer Harvey Weinstein’s horrific scandal, we’ve been witness to plenty of missteps from those in the spotlight. Mayim Bialik, for instance, was taken to task for a controversial New York Times op-ed that many felt wrongfully placed the blame on the victims, and Jason Momoa apologized for a joke he made back in 2011 about “raping beautiful women.”
Now, James Corden is apologizing for his decision to open the amfAR Gala in LA with a series of off-color jokes based on details of Weinstein’s victims’ stories.
The Late Late Show With James Corden host caused an uproar when he began his hosting stint for the gala by remarking on what a beautiful night it was, adding, “So beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel room to give him a massage.”
When the audience reacted with a groan, he continued, “I don’t know whether that groan was because you liked that joke or you don’t like that joke. If you don’t like that joke, you should probably leave now.”
He then continued to make similar remarks referencing other allegations from Weinstein’s accusers, including British artist and writer Liza Campbell, who said that Weinstein asked her to join him in the bath, and journalist Lauren Sivan, who made mention of a potted plant when describing her experience.
Needless to say, the jokes didn’t go over so well, as many felt they were in poor taste and disrespectful to the brave women who chose to share their stories.
As many pointed out, making light of the issue is emblematic of the problem with rape culture in general, as fear of not being taken seriously is one of the many reasons a victim of sexual harassment or assault may choose not to come forward.
The comedian has since come forward to address his jokes, saying that they were meant to mock the perpetrator and not the victims, and that he is truly sorry.
A valuable lesson to be learned by all.
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(Photo via Charley Gallay +Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty)