This past weekend, the Emmys made news, but not in the way they were hoping. While there were several historic moments, of awards given out to women or people of color (or both) and a streaming service took home Best Drama for the first, time, all the good will was undermined by the decision to include Sean Spicer in the opening monologue. Worse, the pictures afterwards of stars cosying up with him, especially James Corden giving him a kiss of the cheek sparked outrage. Last night, James Corden responded to the Sean Spicer kiss on the Late Late Show.
We should note it was not Corden who originally invited Spicer, it was Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show (which directly precedes the Late Late Show.) And Corden was not the only one to pal around with Spicer after the opening monologue, either. There were pictures all over Twitter of stars from all different TV shows taking selfies with the man who did his best impression of state TV propaganda from the podium for the first six months of the Trump administration.
One might say Corden was just the unlucky one who had a up-close shot taken by a photographer, so that it spread wildly.
While requests for comment were turned down yesterday, when it came time to film the Late Late Show, Corden could no longer afford to ignore the controversy. At first he decided to make a joke about it.
The big winners last night were Donald Glover, Hulu and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer won best actor in a comedy for his role in Donald Trump's administration. I'm kidding, of course, but Sean Spicer actually did make a cameo a last night's ceremony. And according to some reports at the after-parties, Spicer was the most popular guy in the room. I just want to say, I think people are forgetting that this man lied to the American people and should not be embraced. These Hollywood phonies kissing up to Sean Spicer are disgusting. I mean, who did this? Who are we talking about here?
Oh right dude, you. Nice self depreciation. But then again, that self depreciation is part of what makes Corden work with an American audience. You can't blame him for trying it.
Then he tried harder jokes.
I know you think that's a picture of me kissing Sean Spicer, but in the spirit of Sean Spicer: No, it isn't.
Then he went with a more UK style humor, turning it into a metaphor for a drunken one night stand
I mean, anyone ever have that feeling when you get a little drunk and then wake up the next morning and think, 'Oh, God, who did I kiss last night?' To be fair, everyone was kissing ass last night at the Emmys. I just happened to kiss the biggest one there. Understandably, some people have been disappointed by this photo. In truth, I'm disappointed by it as well. I've been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter today, and I hear you loud and clear. Truly I do.
But just in case you thought this was going to be an actual apology? No.
So much so I'm really starting to regret that 'Carpool Karaoke' that we've taped with Steve Bannon. Feels like a mistake today. I can promise you this: That kiss was a one-time thing. I'm not one of these people who has a couple of drinks and goes around kissing people that I don't know. Basically, what I'm saying is, I need to learn how to shake hands.
It's clear that Corden is hoping that this will be enough to clean up the mess, and that within a couple of days, this will all be just yet another thing that gets run over by the continuing amazing amount of jaw dropping decisions this administration made. Like the UN speech today. Did you see that? Did you see the jaws drop on Twitter?
No one is talking about Corden much today already, and by the end of the week, health care hysteria, as the Senate tries to take away everyone's healthcare *again*, will have blown everything off the front page, if North Korea hasn't nuked us by then.
Will it help Corden in the long run? Probably not -- but even a real apology probably couldn't have done that either. Like Jimmy Fallon, his reputation is now on the hair-ruffler side of the divide.