James Corden Explains Why He Called Out Bill Maher's Fat-Shaming Comments

James Corden attends the World Premiere and After Party of Showtime's HITSVILLE - Getty-H 2019
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"You cannot forget what most people’s lives are like. You cannot forget how f---ing hard it is. And maybe the only slice of joy in your life is that cheeseburger. And it’s cheap," the 'Late Late Show' host told the New Yorker.

James Corden opened up about his decision to call out Bill Maher's fat-shaming comments in a profile in the New Yorker, published Monday.

Last September, Corden responded to the Real Time host saying that fat-shaming should make a return to lower the obesity rate in the United States.

"I’ve struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight, and I suck at it," Corden told the camera during The Late Late Show. "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."

In the New Yorker story, Corden said that he and his writers spent three days working on the speech. "I was, like, 'We can only do this if it’s funny,'" he said. "It can’t be a rant."

"I just think it’s out of touch with actual people," Corden said of Maher's comments. "You cannot forget what most people’s lives are like. You cannot forget how fucking hard it is. And 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."

Corden later reflected on how the rejection of leading roles in his early acting career inspired him to co-create Gavin & Stacey. "I was good for playing a bubbly judge in a courtroom, or I’d be the guy who drops off a TV to Hugh Grant in a movie," he said. "If someone came from another planet and put on the television, you would think that people who are big or overweight don’t have sex. They don’t fall in love. They’re friends of people who fall in love. They’re probably not that bright, but they’re a good time, and they’re not as valuable as people who are really good-looking."

Recalling a conversation he had with Ruth Jones about writing a story that recounts a wedding in which nothing happens, the two revisited the idea and ultimately created Gavin & Stacey. Corden and Jones cast themselves on the show as the titular couple’s wacky best friends. “We were being realistic that neither of us is romantic-lead material,” Jones told the New Yorker

Following the success of the show, Corden earned himself a bad reputation in the British media and was painted as an arrogant jerk. "I started to behave like a brat that I just don’t think I am," he said. "It’s so intoxicating, that first flush of fame. And I think it’s even more intoxicating if you’re not bred for it."

Corden eventually got his act together when his co-star Rob Brydon and his sister confronted him over his behavior. The CBS late-night host made a lifestyle change and chose to stay home more often in order to become a better person. "The absolute biggest thing I had to learn to do was just stay in and be comfortable on my own," said Corden.