‘Late Late Show’ Producers on James Corden’s Fat-Shaming Feud With Bill Maher
James Corden won more than a statue on Saturday during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards 2019 after his Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool took home the gold for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-recorded).
Late Late Show and Carpool Karaoke executive producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe talked to TV Insider on the red carpet prior to the awards ceremony about Corden’s response, which noted, among other things, that overweight people know they’re overweight and shaming them about it has never worked and won’t now.
“We get it, we know,” Corden said. “We know that being overweight isn’t good for us and I’ve struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight and I suck at it. I’ve had good days and bad months.”
The late-night host advised Maher to be more careful with his words. “While you’re encouraging people to think about what goes into their mouths, just think a little harder about what comes out of yours.”
Winston and Crabbe haven’t heard any response from Maher and, as of now, they’re not expecting one. “We’re told that Bill didn’t even bring it up in his writers’ meeting [according to] my little ‘leaks’ inside that show,” Winston tells TV Insider. “He’s either ignoring it, didn’t see it, or, truthfully, doesn’t know what his response is.”
Winston suggests that in a spat there are usually two sides to a story, but he feels that Maher doesn’t really have a solid case in this one. “He probably thought I’ll just be funny and say a few things, but actually, when it comes down to it, maybe there’s a mom and a dad who maybe have an overweight kid and they’re watching the show on HBO… and they’re thinking, ‘Well, maybe this is a good idea?’”
Corden’s speech, which he wrote along with two of the Late Late Show’s writers, Winston says, was very “measured.”
“I think [Bill] realized there wasn’t much of a response to have,” Winston adds.
The producers of Corden’s show can’t speak for him, but they theorize that Corden would be willing to go on Real Time to discuss the issue further.
“Knowing James as well as we do, I think he’d be there in a heartbeat,” Winston says. “[Real Time] is a great show and Bill’s fantastic. He’s a legend. I just think in this situation, he gave an opinion that wasn’t accurate. He got carried away.”
The place for further talk, Crabbe feels, isn’t on Corden’s show given the program’s format in which Corden interacts with multiple guests simultaneously. “It’ be a trickier situation with our show,” Crabbe says. “The debate wouldn’t be as meaningful on our show with two actors or a singer sitting next to him.”
“Also, Bill’s show is a discussion/panel show,” Winston adds. “Bill said it. We’ve rebutted it so, therefore, the ball is in Bill’s court in a way. If he’s going to say people should be fat-shaming, I’m not sure we should have that on our show.”
The Late Late Show with James Corden, Weeknights, 12:35/11:35c, CBS.