It has been said that comedy is just a tragedy plus time, but James Corden may have crossed that line a bit early, at least for Rose McGowan’s taste. The English comedian was hosting the Los Angeles amfAR Gala, an event focused on raising funds for AIDS research, when he made multiple jokes alluding to the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
McGowan has personal ties to the Weinstein allegations, as she is one of the many women who reached a financial settlement with the producer over the years. In her case, it occurred after a 1997 incident in a hotel room which happened during that year’s Sundance Film Festival. McGowan says that Weinstein raped her, that she needed three surgeries on her wrist and elbow because of what happened.
She claims that when she spoke about the issue at the time within film industry circles, she was threatened to keep her quiet and even ended up being blacklisted. Weinstein would end up paying McGowan $100,000 in a settlement, although it was carefully worded to reflect that Weinstein was not admitting any guilt and that the settlement was only to avoid the legal process and buy peace.
McGowan has continued to be one of the strongest voices against Weinstein and the way Hollywood covered up what he was doing even as dozens more women have come out with their own stories of inappropriate conduct on the producer’s part.
On Friday, October 13, Corden launched into his Weinstein jokes by saying that it was so beautiful in Los Angeles that Weinstein has “already asked tonight up to his hotel” for a massage. After some in the audience groaned, Corden said that anyone who didn’t like the joke should probably leave. He then launched into a few more risqué Weinstein jokes.
McGowan was furious about Corden making light of the situation, blasting him on Twitter, where she posted a clip of his Weinstein jokes while referring to him as a “piglet.” She has gone on to say that Corden and Weinstein were close friends, and that the people laughing in the audience demonstrate how Hollywood really is.
Corden hosts “The Late Late Show” on CBS, and McGowan now wants the network to make a donation to the East Los Angeles Women’s Center. There are yet to be any public comments on the matter by CBS or Corden.