After weeks of backlash against his show’s “Spill Your Guts” segment and a petition that is still growing past 46,000 signatures, James Corden said viewers can expect changes the next time that bit is used on “The Late Late Show.”
The actor and comedian was asked during an interview on Howard Stern’s podcast earlier this month what he would do about the segment, which has been accused of ridiculing traditionally Asian delicacies like century egg, balut and chicken feet.
“The next time we do that bit we absolutely won’t involve or use any of those foods,” Corden said. “Our show is a show about joy and light and love — we don’t want to make a show to upset anybody.”
TikTok and Instagram influencer Kim Saira, 24, who started the petition and called Corden out in a viral TikTok video, said the segment included foods that she had eaten growing up.
“When I first saw it, I was really confused because they had balut on there,” Saira, who is Filipina and Chinese American, told NBC Asian America last week. “Growing up, balut was a super sentimental food to me because I ate it with my grandma and my cousins in the Philippines. So when I saw that it was featured as a disgusting, horrifying food … I was really confused.”
Saira said the purpose of the petition was to bring light to the fact that these media portrayals can cause real-world harm for Asian Americans, who are already facing a climate of increased hate and violence this year.
For Saira, the sound bite on Stern’s podcast isn’t enough. Like she said in the petition’s description, she wants an on-air apology and for Corden to donate to Asian organizations.
“I have specifically asked for James Corden to publicly apologize on his show, and the reason why I was really specific about that was because I think that it is imperative for his hundreds of thousands of viewers to understand the harm that mocking these foods, rooted in Asian cultures, has on Asian people who still eat them,” she told NBC Asian America.
Corden’s team did not respond to a request for comment.
In March, following the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that many credit with reigniting the Asian American civil rights movement in the U.S., Corden dedicated part of his show to addressing anti-Asian hate.
“When you think about the casual racism that’s been pervasive over the past 12 months, then we can start to see the link between language and actions,” Corden said. “There are real consequences to repeatedly hearing hateful speech.”
Saira said she hopes that same energy will be brought to addressing the mockery and stereotypes he perpetuated with “Spill Your Guts.”
“I’m really disappointed in this statement, which in my opinion, isn’t an apology,” she said. “I’m still looking forward to whether he will address this publicly and apologize.”