James Corden and Bill Maher Lookback on Their “Fat-Shaming” Comments

Published on January 29, 2020

A couple of months ago, Bill Maher expressed his terrible wish for “fat-shaming” to make a “comeback.”

From inside his very comfortable bubble, Maher just couldn’t understand why it’s not okay to shame a stranger over their body. The HBO host has it all, and yet, he’s shocked he can’t “fat-shame” people, so he had some jokes and complaints about it.

In response, the “Late Late Show” host James Corden had a sincere and thoughtful response, reminding Maher of the dangers of “fat-shaming.” Unsurprisingly, Maher didn’t really see his point. 

Bill Maher’s Comments

It was ironic that Maher, a man not great at accepting criticism, wants more shaming and, as a consequence, pain in the world. Last September on his show, he called shame “the first step in reform”:

““In August, 53 Americans died from mass shootings. Terrible right? Do you know how many died from obesity? Forty thousand. Fat shaming doesn’t need to end it needs to make a comeback. 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.”

The HBO show host was going for laughs but also speaking his honest thoughts. Of course, his mostly agreeable audience laughed it up with him. Mayer still gets laughs on his show, but for many, it’s understandable why Norm Macdonald — a guy who knows what funny is — constantly says Bill Maher is deeply unfunny.

James Corden’s Response 

During an eight-minute segment, Corden responded to Maher’s comments. He called Maher a kind and nice man, in-person, but took issue with his opinion:

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

Here’s the full video:

Corden Looks Back at The Disagreement 

Corden stands by his ant-bullying statements, while Maher stands by his pro-bullying comments. During an interview with The New York Times, the Late Late Show host reflected back on the disagreement: 

“I just think it’s out of touch with actual people. You cannot forget what most people’s lives are like. Maybe the only slice of joy in your life is that cheeseburger. And it’s cheap. There are no chubby kids at my son’s school, because it’s a private school on the West Side of L.A.”

Maher Didn’t Listen

Recently, Maher was on the Joe Rogan Experience and basically dismissed everything Corden said, as did Joe Rogan, calling him “opportunistic.” Has nobody ever told Maher sharing opinions is a part of hosting a Late Night Show? If Maher thinks it’s a discussion worth having, why can’t Corden chime in, too? It’s like Maher didn’t want an actual dialogue. Plus, the popular late-night host doesn’t need Bill Maher to up his ratings, so not exactly opportunistic.

Maher went on to say Corden took the easy route rather than admitting that, yes, “fat-shaming” has never gone away and causes serious psychological issues. Maher couldn’t admit he was wrong in any shape or form, so he took the easy route.

The HBO host’s intent behind his wrongly-expressed message is logical, to work on the country’s obesity problem, but his advocacy for “fat-shaming” is a vote for bullying.

Maher is endorsing health but he’s also endorsing bullying, but maybe Maher is too privileged to see that.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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