“The Late Late Show with James Corden” segment “Spill Your Guts” is known for pitting celebrities against some challenging foods to swallow — and challenging truths to reveal. But some have been calling out the segment for showing insensitivity to certain cultures for implying the featured dishes, like cow tongue and fish eyes, are “gross.”
Earlier in June, TikTok user Kim Saira called out Corden for showing insensitivity toward Asian cultures (via Insider). Her call to action inspired her to create a Change.org petition, which currently has more than 44,000 signatures.
As Saira explained to Today, “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,” she said. “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.”
Saira added, “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?'”
Saira’s complaints were in reference to a 2016 segment of “Spill Your Guts” in which Corden and Jimmy Kimmel ask each other probing questions while dishing over balut, among a number of foods Corden calls “disgusting” and “horrific.”
“They’re calling Asian food disgusting on live TV,” Saira wrote in her TikTok post on June 7. “Huh. This is literally racist. this is so disrespectful wtf.”
“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,” she wrote in the Change.org petition. “So many Asian Americans are consistently bullied and mocked for their native foods, and this segment amplifies and encourages it.”
Corden has now vowed to make changes to the segment, as he revealed on a June 16 episode of “The Howard Stern Show.” “We heard that story, and the next time we do that bit we absolutely won’t involve or use any of those foods,” Corden said. “As you said at the start, our show is a show about joy and light and love. We don’t want to make a show to upset anybody.”
Though Corden did not explicitly explain how he planned to alter “Spill Your Guts,” he referenced an appearance with Anna Wintour in 2017 as a model for a solution.
“You know, look,” he said, “In the same way that when we played it with Anna Wintour, we gave her a pizza covered in cheeseburgers. Do you know what I mean?”
In an email to Today, Saira said she was disappointed with Corden’s response. “‘The Late Late Show’ did not reach out to me about this statement, I actually found out from another news source I was interviewing with,” she said. “After listening to what he said, to be completely honest with you, I’m really disappointed in this statement, which in my opinion, isn’t an apology. In my petition, I have specifically asked for James Corden to publicly apologize on his show, and the reason why I was really specific about that was because I think that it is imperative for his hundreds of thousands of viewers to understand the harm that mocking these foods, rooted in Asian cultures, has on Asian people who still eat them. Besides that, I still think he should be donating to Asian organizations as well. I’m still looking forward to whether he will address this publicly and apologize.”
Check out the full Change.org petition here.