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James Corden Called Out Bill Maher For Encouraging Fat Shaming
After HBO’s Bill Maher made some deeply uninformed and wildly cruel comments about fat people during an episode of Real Time last week, James Corden responded on Friday’s episode of the The Late Late Show and issued a pretty great rebuttal.
Maher somehow determined that “the problem with our healthcare system” isn’t its high cost, or the fact that it fails to serve a country struggling with an alarming poverty rate, but that “Americans eat shit, and too much of it.”
“Being fat isn’t a birth defect, nobody comes out of the womb needing to buy two seats on the airplane,” he said in a monologue. “We scream at Congress to find a way to pay our medical bills, but it wouldn’t be nearly the issue it is if people just didn’t eat like assholes.” He went onto argue that fat-shaming—which never left in the first place—needs to make a comeback, despite the fact that being fat is in no way synonymous with being unhealthy.
“So I’m sat at home, and I was watching it, and I was like, ‘Oh man, somebody needs to say something like this. If only there was somebody with a platform who knew what it was actually like to be overweight,” said Corden on his CBS late night show. “And then I realized, ‘Ah, that’ll be me.’”
Corden went on to lay out some of the facts the Maher neglected to include in his smug tirade—like the genetic components that influence all of our body shapes, or the links between obesity and poverty. He also pointed out fat shaming isn’t just cruel, it also doesn’t make people thinner. One study that examined 110 kids over the course of years found that those who were made fun of for their size gained more weight than their counterparts who weren’t.
“It’s proven that fat-shaming only does one thing,” said Corden. “It makes people feel ashamed and shame leads to depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior—self-destructive behavior like overeating.”
“We’re not all as lucky as Bill Maher,” he added. “We don’t all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day.”
Corden also played a particularly cruel clip from Maher’s monologue during his show, one that found the HBO host claiming that healthcare is “not just about being able to see a doctor, it’s also about being able to see your dick.”
“Believe me,” Corden retorted, “I can see a dick.”
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.