To say that some viewers were not pleased with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s cameo on the Emmys Sunday evening would be an understatement. To make matters worse, a photo posted to Variety‘s Instagram account caught late night host James Corden on camera giving Spicer a peck on the cheek at the awards show, which elicited further blowback.
Corden, however, addressed the incident in his opening monologue on “The Late Late Show” Monday night, stating that he was “disappointed” in himself.
After cracking a few Donald Trump jokes, Corden went on to lambast himself. “According to some reports at the after-party, Spicer was the most popular guy in the room,” he began. “And I just wanna say, I think people are forgetting this man lied to the American people and should not be embraced. These Hollywood phonies kissing up to Spicer are disgusting, I mean, who did this, who are we talking about here?”
The image of Corden and Spicer then flashed on the screen.
“Now, I know you think that’s a picture of me kissing Sean Spicer, but in the spirit of Sean Spicer, no it isn’t,” he joked. “To be fair, everyone was kissing ass last night, I just happened to kiss the biggest one there.”
He then took a somewhat more serious tone. “Understandably, some people have been disappointed by this photo. In truth, I’m disappointed as well. I’ve been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter and I hear you, I really do, so much so that I’m starting to regret that Carpool Karaoke we taped with Steve Bannon … feels like a mistake today.”
Corden went on to make the point that he has a long history of kissing random people, including Harry Styles, Allison Janney, and Bryan Cranston, and implied that alcohol may have had a hand in his actions. “Basically what I’m saying is, I need to learn how to shake hands,” he finished.
Spicer’s appearance at the Emmys caused quite a stir on Twitter, with many commentators pointing out it constituted a “normalization” of what many view as Spicer’s dishonesty with the American people.
Watch the video of Corden’s opening monologue here.
.@seanspicer can normalize himself in good fun, but he still passionately advocated against human rights, health care, & American values
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) September 18, 2017
If u think that Spicer should be allowed to participate in anything but an apology, you really dont understand anything&im bummed about you.
— jenny slate (@jennyslate) September 18, 2017
I'm not ready to laugh "with" Sean Spicer. I think he is an evil, opportunistic liar that hurt our country.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 18, 2017