Corden received a backlash for his stint as host at the AmfAR Gala – an HIV/Aids fundraiser – in Los Angeles, where he chose to comment on the ongoing sexual harassment scandal involving the Hollywood film mogul.
The British actor, comedian and TV host was heard quipping: “This is a beautiful room. It’s a beautiful night here in LA. So beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.”
Groans were heard amid some nervous laughter, according to Variety, which reported that Corden continued with: “It has been weird this week though, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath.”
And later: “Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but sadly he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest.”
The jokes received a backlash on social media from several high-profile figures including Rose McGowan, who alleges that Weinstein raped her.
“You motherf***ing piglet,” she tweeted with a clip of Corden making his speech.
Asia Argento, who also claims she was assaulted by Weinstein, shared a clip of Corden’s speech on Twitter and wrote: “Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him #amfARLosAngeles.”
Corden has since issued a statement on Twitter which said: “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.”
Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Corden’s first break in Hollywood was when he played Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts in One Chance, a film produced by The Weinstein Company.