James Corden has apologised after he was heavily criticised for jokes made about the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal that has rocked Hollywood. The talk show host made the inappropriate jokes while presenting amfAR's annual benefit gala on Friday (13 October).
"This is a beautiful room, it's a beautiful night here in LA," Corden told the star-studded room. "It's so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.
"It has been weird this week though, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath."
Corden later apologised on Twitter, saying: "To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey's inexcusable behaviour, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims.
"I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention."
At the show, Corden had also made a joke referencing journalist Lauren Sivan's claim that Weinstein exposed himself to her and masturbated into a potted plant. "Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but sadly he'll settle for whatever potted plant is closest," the Brit said.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape by a succession of women since The New York Times and New Yorker published investigations into decades of alleged abuses and payments to accusers.
A statement from a Weinstein spokesperson said: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein." However he has admitted some level of guilt in regard to his behaviour.
In response to the Times report, Weinstein said: "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons."
Corden came under fire from numerous people online, including Rose McGowan and Asia Argento who have made claims of abuse against Weinstein.
McGowan called him a "motherf****** piglet" before going on to describe Corden as a "close friend" of Weinstein's and taking on those in the audience who laughed at the jokes. "Hearing the audience's vile roars & laughs show EXACTLY what kind of HOLLYWOOD you really are," the actor wrote.
Argento tweeted: "Shame on this pig and everyone who grunted with him."
Weinstein is currently under investigation by police in New York and London.