It appears there’s a new late-night TV feud, this time over the thorny topic of weight.
Maher took a moment in his closing monologue on last week’s show to lament the so-called disappearance of “fat-shaming” and call for a “comeback.”
“Being fat isn’t a birth defect. Nobody comes out of the womb needing to buy two seats on an airplane,” Mahar said. “We have gone to this weird place where fat is good. It’s pointing out that fat is unhealthy. That’s what’s bad. Fat-shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback. Some amount of shame is good.”
Corden told his audience on Thursday night that he felt obligated to “say something about this,” noting that he has a platform to do so and admitting that he himself is “overweight.”
“I’ve got to say that anytime that I’ve met Bill Maher in person, he’s been nothing but pleasant and kind and nice, which is why I found it so surprising that he or anybody thinks that fat-shaming needs to make a comeback because fat-shaming never went anywhere,” Corden said. “I mean, ask literally any fat person.”
The CBS star acknowledged that being overweight “isn’t good” and pointed to his own struggles with losing weight, saying he’s had “good days and bad months.”
“We’re not all as lucky as Bill Maher, you know. We don’t all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day,” Corden joked.
Corden said Maher is “working against his own cause,” pointing out that fat-shaming leads to depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior “like overeating.”
“Fat shaming is just bullying, that’s what it is. It’s bullying,” Corden continued. “And bullying only makes the problem worse.”
The London-born comedian challenged Maher’s claim that Europe doesn’t have a weight issue, referring to himself as “Exhibit A.” He also insisted that the issue is more “complex” than the HBO host portrayed it, pointing to poverty as a significant factor in the obesity epidemic in the U.S.
“I believe that Bill Maher’s heart is in the right place … but in the meantime Bill, please hear me when I say this: While you’re encouraging people to think about what goes into their mouths, just think a little harder about what comes out of yours.”
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