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11th Jun 2021

James Corden receives 12,000 complaints after ‘racist’ segment of Late Late Show

Charlie Herbert

TikTok user starts petition to end James Corden's 'Spill Your Guts' segement

Thousands have signed a petition calling for part of the show to be dropped.

James Corden is being urged to drop a regular segment from his Late Late Show that critics claim encourages anti-Asian sentiment.

TikTok user Kim Saira has launched a petition calling for the feature ‘Spill Your Guts’ to be removed permanently from the show.

The segment sees guests have to either answer an awkward/embarrassing question or alternatively eat a Bushtucker trial-esque piece of grub. The likes of Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Chrissy Teigen have all previously taken part in the game.

Saira took to TikTok to explain that she doesn’t want to cancel the TV host, but simply hold the show to account for the racially insensitive segment:

@kimssairaok but this is actual Asian food & youre going on live tv telling people how gross it is. thats cringe♬ original sound – Kim Saira

However, over 12,500 people have now signed a petition calling for the segment to be removed, as the foods that are portrayed as gross and disgusting are actually often Asian delicacies.

The petition reads: “The foods that are presented are meant to be ‘gross,’ as they are supposed to encourage the guest to answer his questions instead. However, many of the foods that he presents to his guests are actually from different Asian cultures.”

It stated that James Corden has “presented foods such as balut, century-old eggs and chicken feet, and which are often regularly eaten by Asian people. During these segments, he’s openly called these foods ‘really disgusting,’ and ‘horrific.'”

It continues: “In the wake of the constant Asian hate crimes that have continuously been occurring, not only is this segment incredibly culturally offensive and insensitive, but it also encourages anti-Asian racism…

“So many Asian Americans are consistently bullied and mocked for their native foods, and this segment amplifies and encourages it…

“We are holding James Corden and The Late Late Show accountable for their actions, and perpetual harm this segment causes to Asian American communities.

James Corden Late Late Show studio

“At the very least, Asian American communities deserve an apology and this segment to be taken off the air.”

There is renewed focus in the US on the level of anti-Asian hate crime in the country. A report from the LA Times found that there had been huge increases in hate crimes aimed at Asian people in the last year, with Donald Trump’s presidency and the links between Covid-19 and China thought to be key factors in this.

Speaking to Today, Kim said: “I noticed that one of the foods that he presented to someone was balut (a fertilized duck egg that is boiled and eaten from the shell), and balut is like, very specific to Filipino culture.

“It’s a food that I have been eating whenever I go to the Philippines with my grandma and my cousins, so it’s a very sentimental food to me, and I noticed that he was presenting it to a guest and calling it gross.

“I was just so confused and I feel like it was a moment of me just being like, ‘Oh my gosh, like, this is my culture. I don’t understand why he’s making fun of it?'”

While it’s clear that Corden meant no offence – having addressed the rampant racism in the US throughout last year and, indeed, since taking up the mantle in 2014 – this is yet another instance where issues surrounding representation, accountability and social responsibility are apparent.