Television host James Corden has quickly apologised for a series of offensive jokes about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that infuriated Hollywood stars.
Corden, host of The Late Late Show and famed for the Carpool Karaoke skit, was speaking at an AIDS benefit in Los Angeles when he repeatedly joked about the deepening sexual assault and harassment scandal.
“Here in LA, it’s so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage,” Corden said at the amfAR event, according to video shot by Hollywood Reporter.
After a mixed reception, he continued: “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.
“It has been weird this week, though, 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.”
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) October 14, 2017
This produced a furious response from Rose McGowan, who last week accused Winestein of rape, and she condemned Corden for making light of the allegations.
Many social media users were disappointed with Corden, too, leading to an apology on Twitter.
“To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behaviour,” he wrote on Twitter.
“But to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone he offended, that was never my intention.”
In a series of tweets, McGowan called on Corden’s television network, CBS, to make a donation to a women’s support centre.
She added that Corden was a friend of Weinstein and slammed those in the audience.
“Hearing the audience’s vile roars and laughs show EXACTLY what kind of HOLLYWOOD you really are,” she continued.
Actress Asia Argento, who has also accused Weinstein of rape, joined in on the criticism of Corden.
“Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him,” she wrote on Twitter.