Restaurant bans, awkward exchanges and a ‘nasty’ reputation: How James Corden became Hollywood’s favorite punching bag

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On “The Late Late Show,” James Corden comes across as pleasant, cordial and funny — you know, the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with. However, a growing number of people have claimed that James is nothing like the charmer who appears on the TV screen. In fact, there have been whispers online for years regarding the Brit’s allegedly rude behavior, not to mention reports about it. He complained about his “Gavin & Stacey” show not getting a BAFTA Award nomination in 2008, and he was accused of insulting Met Gala workers, though that rumor was never confirmed. Those incidents, however, might just be the tip of the iceberg.

Click through to see all the moments where James was less than well received…

MORE: The most cringeworthy celebrity moments of 2022

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Balthazar owner Keith McNally took to Instagram on Oct. 17, 2022, to publicly ban James Corden from the New York City restaurant, calling him “a tiny Cretin of a man.” He then went on to detail multiple incidents in which James was rude, dismissive or “nasty” to the restaurant’s staff, calling the late night host the “most abusive customer” he’d had in 25 years of hospitality service. In one moment, James allegedly got angry when his wife, Julia Corden, ordered an egg yolk omelette, only to have “a little bit of egg white” mixed in with the yolks. “You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!” James allegedly ranted. 

The restaurant drama wasn’t over…

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After the restaurant ban, James Corden apologized profusely, restaurateur Keith McNally said, explaining he’d lifted James’s ban. However, just a few days later, James told The New York Times that he had nothing to apologize for, calling the drama “beneath” him. “I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level. So why would I ever cancel this [interview,]” he told a Times reporter after the incident at Balthazar. “I was there. I get it. I feel so Zen about the whole thing. Because I think it’s so silly. I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you. It’s certainly beneath your publication.” Keith, the owner of Balthazar, was stunned by James’s about-face. Then, a few days after that, James again admitted he was wrong, claiming he was “ungracious” to a server. “Because I didn’t shout or scream — like I didn’t get up out of my seat, I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language — I have been walking around thinking that I hadn’t done anything wrong, right?” he said. “But the truth is I have. I made a rude comment, and it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server.”

MORE: Brits who’ve won Emmys over the years

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Back in 2010, James Corden had an awkward exchange (see it here) with Sir Patrick Stewart that didn’t help his reputation. At the time, James was hosting the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards and Patrick didn’t feel he was doing the show justice. “When the presenters are up here and when the recipients are receiving their rewards,” Patrick said, “don’t stand at the back of the stage with your hands in your pockets looking around as though you wished you were anywhere but here.” James, taken aback, said he was happy to be there and told Patrick to “just f****** get on with it” in presenting the award. He later told Patrick that the audience could see him “dying” on stage. The moment was cringeworthy for both stars.

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James Corden’s alleged restaurant behavior wasn’t limited to just Balthazar. Becky Habersberger, the wife of Try Guys member Keith Habersberger, claims she once watched James scream at a Los Angeles busboy. “I overhear [a] busboy telling James Corden that Little Dom’s is closed right now,” she said in a TikTok video, noting that the worker explained that the restaurant closes for a few hours between lunch and dinner. “[The busboy] is telling James Corden he can get him a reservation right when they open. He was trying to be really accommodating.” She said James then “yells at this bus boy, ‘A lot of good that does me, mate, a lot of good that does me.'” Becky, a former waitress, opined, “I’m not surprised by all this James Corden [Balthazar] information coming out because if you are rude to one server, you are absolutely rude to many servers. That is not a one-off, ‘I was having a bad day’ kind of thing.”

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Mel B dubbed James Corden the “biggest d*** head” in Hollywood while on Britain’s “The Big Narstie Show” on Dec. 2, 2022. James, the Spice Girl alleged, feels people are beneath him. “I think you always have to be nice to the people that you work with — whether it be production, camera guys, sound, lighting,” she said. “We all work for the same thing, so you should always be nice, and he hasn’t been very nice.”

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In 2020, Ellen DeGeneres was accused of being insulting and mean to her staff. This prompted comedian Eric Andre to weigh in. In doing so, he took a jab at James Corden too. “Boohoo, Ellen was mean. Who gives a s ***? I never thought she was nice!” Eric told Vanity Fair in 2020. “Is that what cancel culture’s devolved to? ‘That guy’s not nice!’ James Corden is f ***** if that’s the only criteria to get called out.”

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 In 2017, James Corden made jokes about disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, but they fell flat and almost came off as if the comedian was mocking sexual assault. While hosting the amfAR Gala in Los Angeles, he said, “It’s so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.” He then added, “It has been weird this week hasn’t it, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath … it’s weird watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight but he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest.” After getting roasted online, James tweeted, “To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention.”

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James Corden admitted that he behaved like a “brat” when he first became famous. Clearly some people believe nothing has changed. “I started to behave like a brat that I just don’t think I am,” he told The New Yorker in 2020. “It’s so intoxicating, that first flush of fame. And I think it’s even more intoxicating if you’re not bred for it.” In 2012, he called his behavior “spoilt and brattish.” 

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In 2021, James Corden was forced to change the “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” segment on his late night show after viewers said they felt he was openly mocking Asian cuisine. The foods in the segment were meant to be “gross” or “really disgusting” — and James often described them as such — but the items were often common cuisine in Asian culture. More than 47,000 people signed a petition demanding he change the segment or scrap it. He did. 












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