After initially calling the controversy “so silly” in a New York Times profile, James Corden used Monday’s Late Late Show broadcast to further respond to recent allegations that he bullied the staff at a New York restaurant.
For the uninitiated, the controversy arose on Oct. 17 when New York restaurateur Keith McNally posted on Instagram that he’d banned Corden from his eatery Balthazar. After calling Corden “a tiny Cretin of a man” and “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago,” McNally went on to share anecdotes from Balthazar managers in which Corden was allegedly “extremely nasty” to the employees when he was dissatisfied with the food and drinks he’d received.
In a follow-up post after those allegations went viral, McNally shared that Corden had privately “apologized profusely,” and the Balthazar ban on Corden was subsequently lifted. Days later, though, Corden told the New York Times that “I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level,” adding that he felt “so Zen” about the controversy because “I think it’s so silly.” That response frustrated McNally anew, and he wrote on Instagram that “I wish James Corden would live up to his Almighty initials and come clean. If the supremely talented actor wants to retrieve the respect he had from all his fans (all 4 of them) before this incident, then he should at least admit he did wrong.”
During Monday’s Late Late Show monologue, Corden explained that during a recent visit to Balthazar for breakfast, his wife repeatedly received food to which she was allergic; after her meal allegedly came back wrong for a third time, Corden said he made a “sarcastic, rude comment” that he should cook the meal himself.
“It is a comment I deeply regret,” he shared. “I understand the difficulties of being a server. I worked shifts at restaurants for years. I have such respect and I value anyone who does such a job.”
Corden added that because he didn’t shout, get out of his seat or call anyone names at the restaurant, he felt at first that he hadn’t done anything to warrant apologizing, but now understands that isn’t the case. (According to the Balthazar manager’s account of said breakfast incident, Corden was indeed “yelling like crazy” at the server.)
“I also hate, as I said to the owner that day, that I’ve ever upset anybody, ever,” Corden continued. “It was never my intention. It just wasn’t… I hope I’m allowed in again one day, so when I’m back in New York, I can go there and apologize in person, which is something I will absolutely do.”
Watch the full Late Late Show segment above, then drop a comment below with your thoughts on Balthazar-gate.