James Corden isn’t best known for diving into social commentary, but, after seeing a segment on fat-shaming from Bill Maher, Corden just had to pipe up.
It all started when Maher did a segment on his show calling for the “return” of fat-shaming. Basically, he claimed that fat-shaming has gone away and we need to bring it back in order to address obesity, or something.
“Some amount of shame is good,” Maher said.
Corden wasn’t buying it.
“If making fun of fat people made them lose weight, there’d be no fat kids in schools,” Corden said on The Late Late Show. “And I’d have a six-pack right now.”
Corden started by making digs at both himself and Maher for their ratings and questionable movie roles, but then got into the good stuff.
“Fat-shaming never went anywhere. Ask literally any fat person, we are reminded of it all the time,” Corden said.
“There’s a common and insulting misconception that fat people are stupid and lazy and we’re not. We get it, we know. 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.”
He said he’s been on and off diets his entire life, but his body is what it is.
“We’re not all as lucky as Bill Maher, you know, we don’t all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day,” he said.
Corden was relatively gentle on Maher otherwise, and tossed in some eye-roll–worthy food jokes. He pointed out that fat-shaming only harms fat people and triggers depression and self-destructive behavior.
“Let’s be honest, fat-shaming is just bullying. And bullying just makes the problem worse,” he said.
He also addressed the root causes of obesity, including how poverty and genetics play a role.
Corden is hardly the first to destroy the myth that fat-shaming helps anyone (fat activists have been saying so for decades) but people applauded him for using his platform to say it.
Corden ended the segment with one last little dig at Maher.
“While you’re encouraging people to think about what goes into their mouths, just think a little harder about what comes out of yours,” he said.