James Corden addressed the controversial picture that shows the TV host kissing Sean Spicer's cheek at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards during The Late Late Show Monday night:
"Yeah, I know you think that is a picture of me kissing Sean Spicer. But in the spirit of Sean Spicer—no, it isn’t! ... 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?" It’s a bit like that ... To be fair, everyone was kissing ass last night at the Emmys. I just happened to kiss the biggest one there."
He added, "Understandably, some people have been disappointed by this photo. In truth, I’m disappointed by it as well. I am, have been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter today, and I hear you loud and clear, truly, I do. So much so I’m really starting to regret that Carpool Karaoke that we’ve taped with Steve Bannon. Feels like a mistake today."
Original story follows.
For the first time, it seems like everyone is pretty pleased with the outcome of Sunday night's Emmys — except for one notable exception. While so many talented and diverse stars got the recognition they deserve, the show left a sour taste in the mouth of some viewers thanks to the surprise appearance by Sean Spicer. The former press secretary appeared on stage for a brief, self-deprecating bit that many feel was giving him a pass for his behaviour during his time at the White House. Things got more controversial after the show, when one photo in particular surfaced showing The Late Late Show's James Corden leaning in to kiss Spicer on the cheek.
Corden, who's been vocal about his distaste for the current administration on his show, seems to do a complete 180 by goofing off with the person he once accused of aiding Trump's war against the press, and fans and critics definitely took notice.
"This is how @JKCorden normalizes Sean Spicer," said April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite. "This isn't cute or having a laugh. There isn't any middle ground here. Corden chose."
"Dear @JKCorden This is disgusting," comedian Ken Reid added. "You had JUST won me over. You are a spineless hypocrite. Love, Ken"
Rather than zero in on Corden, other fans accused the whole show of being complicit.
"Hey Jimmy, Stephen, James. I know it's confusing but Sean Spicer isn't a TV character," a critical viewer wrote. "He was a government official who lied for a despot."
Other people are comparing this moment to this time last year when Jimmy Fallon playfully ruffled Donald Trump's hair.
"The only person happy with James Corden kissing Sean Spicer is Jimmy Fallon," a user pointed out.
"I didn’t do it to humanize [Trump],” Fallon explained to The New York Times. “I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.'"
He also says he "should have talked about it" on his show, so we're hoping James Corden learns from that mistake and clarifies this picture ASAP.