James Corden Discusses His Personal Battle With Fat Shaming

After all these years, Bill Maher still ruffles feathers with his HBO show Real Time. It’s something he’s never failed to do in his time hosting panel talk shows. Ever since his days hosting Politically Incorrect on ABC, Maher has always stirred things up being deliberately provocative about our latest social and political issues.

On Real Time, one can argue he’s now completely unfiltered to say anything he wants without holding back. You can amplify this after some racist comments Maher made last year that HBO didn’t fire him over.

James Corden
James Corden | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

So here we are now with Maher taking things over the limit again. This time, it was about fat-shaming but Late Late Show host James Corden came to the defense, possibly opening a wider discussion.

What was the big deal about Bill Maher’s comments?

Most of the time, Maher does have hilarious points about the state of the union. Sometimes those points are a complete fire in their truthfulness. However, when it comes to shaming people who are overweight, there’s still a major line comedians can’t cross.

Maher tried to make the point that with obesity levels rising, we should start shaming overweight people to force them into eating better and exercising. What Maher didn’t stop to realize is it’s not always so simple for many people. Resetting metabolism levels is easier for some than others, with many hardly able to lose any pounds, no matter how much they exercise.

“Fat shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback,” Maher said in August. “Some amount of shame is good. We shamed people out of smoking and into wearing seat belts. We shamed them out of littering and most of them out of racism. Shame is the first step in reform.”

Many other issues apply, something Corden noted in an op-ed piece he recently did on Late Late Show on CBS. As a combination rebuttal and comedy piece, Corden noted he resembles the kind of person Maher was talking about. Corden also noted we’re living in a country with not nearly enough quality accessibility to healthy foods and proper healthcare.

James Corden spoke harsh truths

With food prices rising and healthcare still a shambles in America, Corden truly did make a strong point Maher may feel compelled to stay silent over in response. Not that Maher is ever silent about anything, including rebutting celebrity rebuttals.

“Fat-shaming never went anywhere,” Corden said. “Ask literally any fat person. We are reminded of it all the time.”

He continued: “There’s a common and insulting misconception that fat people are stupid and lazy, and we’re not… 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.”

What makes this counterpoint by Corden so compelling is it had to take a Brit to show the ugly truth about what America is going through. While some political extremists will tell Corden to “Go back to your country,” most Americans supported Corden’s comments.

Why not have a serious discussion on this, headed by James Corden?

We know The Late Late Show is all about comedy and usually non-serious celebrity discussions. We can still imagine a serious panel discussion on fat-shaming and America’s problems with weight in a round table discussion on Corden’s show.

For just one night, it would be great to hear from other celebrities who’ve suffered from being overweight, health experts, and even Maher himself to view this issue from numerous sides. Late-night shows don’t always have to be fall-down funny every minute. Many times, they’ve paused to address something serious, usually American tragedies.

Corden discussed his response to Maher in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, after winning his Emmys. While noting he had “nothing but respect” for Maher, Corden said: “I saw something that I felt like I had experience with. Ultimately, I think I know a little more about what it’s like to be overweight than perhaps some other people do. So, to see someone talk like that made me feel like, ‘Well, this is something I feel like we should talk about.’”