The court of public opinion is a powerful one, especially in this day and age where someone is one salacious tweet (or unsavory part of their past being aired out on the internet) away from having their career ruined.
Some public figures and celebrities are more affected by this than others and manage to sidestep the PR disaster part where they lose their jobs, like James Corden. But why do people seem to hate him so much?
Seriously, why do people hate James Corden?
The hatred for James Corden actually goes back several years. In May of 2019, a collection of personal experiences that people had with the comedian "behind the scenes" were aired out in a Reddit AMA. Chief among them was a plane incident involving James. Here's the gist of the story: An observer saw the host seated in first class ahead of them on a plane. James sat down, and a woman with a crying baby sat down next to him.
James didn't cause a stink about the crying child, much to the observer's surprise. He instead opted to just put his headphones on and keep to himself. After the plane landed, the woman with the crying baby began struggling to get her luggage before turning to James and cursing him out to help with the baby while she got their bags.
Other anecdotal stories in the AMA point to James's less than stellar track record in his interactions with fans, like one person who apparently saw him cursing out everyone in a restaurant while he was hanging out with his friend Harry Styles (who was apparently cool).
Then there was the story that he supposedly attended a Writers Guild Association meeting to advocate for lowering pay for writers. He was also allegedly extremely rude to production assistants and staff while filming the U.K. game show A League of Their Own.
James Corden came under fire in October 2022 for his behavior at NYC's Balthazar restaurant.
In October 2022, James was once again thrust into the unflattering spotlight. This time it was with an Instagram post from Keith McCall, the owner of popular NYC restaurant Balthazar. "James Corden is a hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny cretin of a man," Keith wrote before diving into some of James's past alleged behavior at the restaurant.
Keith shared that, according to several reports from managers at his restaurant, James was "extremely nasty" to servers and demanded special treatment due to his celebrity status. As a result, Keith banned James from dining at Balthazar.
Shortly after sharing his initial post, Keith posted again saying that James had called him to apologize for his behavior, and was summarily un-banned. "Anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere," Keith wrote. Unfortunately for James, the people of the internet were not so quick to forgive and forget.
Tons of people began sharing additional anecdotes of James's alleged rudeness and his public persona not matching his TV-friendly image. Even Becky Habersberger (of Try Guys-adjacent podcast You Can Sit With Us fame) added her own James Corden story:
There's also this infamous video of James Corden beefing with Patrick Stewart.
Again, it's important to note that all of these stories are anecdotal rejections of James's "nice guy" persona, one that many people say is false. But there are also two video incidents on the internet of James engaging in some behavior some would deem unprofessional and mean-spirited, like the time he was beefing with Patrick Stewart during an awards show ceremony:
And this video, where James Corden apparently can't name a single member of his crew.
There's also this clip from 2016 that's been making the rounds again. In it, Jimmy Kimmel appears on The Late Late Show and plays "Spill Your Guts" with James. In the final round, James is forced to choose between two options: Name two cameramen currently in the studio (who have presumably filmed his show many, many nights), or drink a fish smoothie. James appears unable to name any member of the crew. You can see that interaction here (starting at about 6:55):
James Corden has also been accused of stealing jokes from two different comedians.
During an episode of The Late Late Show on Oct. 31, 2022, James Corden went on about Elon Musk's new dictatorship over Twitter, even touching on his $8 verification plan. "When you see Elon Musk talk about Twitter, he does this thing where he goes, ‘It’s the town square,'" James began.
“But it isn’t, because if someone puts up a poster in a town square that says ‘guitar lessons available,' you don’t get people in the town going, ‘I don’t want to play the guitar! I wanna play the piano, you piece of s--t!’" he continued. This is almost word-for-word a Ricky Gervais joke, which he performed during his 2018 Netflix stand-up special, Humanity.
The next day, James was quick to tweet that he had "inadvertently" told Ricky's joke, "obviously not knowing it came from him."
Maybe it was a genuine mistake in the writers' room, but Twitter users were quick to blast him, even resurfacing a similar incident from 2017.
During a 2010 stand-up set, British actor and comedian Noel Fielding made a joke about the best way to halt a knifepoint mugging. The punchline involved whispering; meaning if a mugger is coming at you with a knife, just whisper "Oi, mate" as a distraction.
James Corden told a painfully similar version of this joke on The Late Late Show in 2017. Though James changed the phrasing, the whispering idea was identical.
After observant Twitter users clocked him in 2017, Noel himself tweeted "Yes I believe this is my material x."
In short, there are several stories out there detailing why some people have an issue with James Corden. Most of them are due to alleged bad behavior and undermining his "nice guy" persona.
Cats might also have something to do with it, too.