The British comedian James Corden has faced the ire of actress Rose McGowan and others on social media for his jokes about Harvey Weinstein.

Hosting the AmfAR charity gala in Los Angeles, the Late Late Show host said: "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."

After he faced groans as well as applause, he said: "If you don't like that joke, you should probably leave now".

Corden went on to say: "It has been weird this week though, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath, it's weird watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water.

He also said: "Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but he'll settle for whatever potted plant is closest."

After getting such a mixed response from the audience, he said: "Oh come on".

But McGowan, who reportedly is among the eight women who reached legal settlements over claims of sexual harassment, sent a series of angry tweets.

She wrote: "James Corden is a close friend of HW's (Harvey Weinstein's)". She also wrote: "Hearing the audience's vile roars & laughs show EXACTLY what kind of HOLLYWOOD you really are" before adding: @CBS DONATE TO @ELAWC OR YOU TOO SUPPORT RAPE CULTURE #f***jamescorden."

Other celebrities criticising Corden included chef Anthony Bourdain, who pulled no punches with his tweet that read: "James Corden reveals snickering Hollywood in all its grotesquerie . It's not about masturbation, a**hole. It's about rape."

Another Twitter user wrote: "I like James Corden but that "joke" was so unnecessary/didn't have to make it about weinstein's victims/sexual assault/rape aint never funny".

In a statement released on Twitter, Corden said: "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."

It comes as two other women have come forward and accused Weinstein of rape. The actress Lysette Anthony says he attacked her at her home in the late 1980s while another, unidentified woman says she was raped in 1992.

Meanwhile the organisation behind the Oscars has voted to expel Weinstein while his brother Bob called him "sick and depraved".

It was reported on Sunday night that the French president, Emmanuel Macron, was looking at rescinding Weinstein's prestigious Legion of Honor award.

James Corden
British comedian and host of the Late Late Show, James Corden, has caused controversy after he told jokes about the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who faces numerous claims of sexual harassment. Getty