To say that some viewers were not pleased with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s cameo on the Emmys Sunday evening would be an understatement. To make matters worse, a photo posted to Variety‘s Instagram account caught late night host James Corden on camera giving Spicer a peck on the cheek at the awards show, which elicited further blowback.
After cracking a few Donald Trump jokes, Corden went on to lambast himself. “According to some reports at the after-party, Spicer was the most popular guy in the room,” he began. “And I just wanna say, I think people are forgetting this man lied to the American people and should not be embraced. These Hollywood phonies kissing up to Spicer are disgusting, I mean, who did this, who are we talking about here?”
The image of Corden and Spicer then flashed on the screen.
“Now, I know you think that’s a picture of me kissing Sean Spicer, but in the spirit of Sean Spicer, no it isn’t,” he joked. “To be fair, everyone was kissing ass last night, I just happened to kiss the biggest one there.”
He then took a somewhat more serious tone. “Understandably, some people have been disappointed by this photo. In truth, I’m disappointed as well. I’ve been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter and I hear you, I really do, so much so that I’m starting to regret that Carpool Karaoke we taped with Steve Bannon … feels like a mistake today.”
Corden went on to make the point that he has a long history of kissing random people, including Harry Styles, Allison Janney, and Bryan Cranston, and implied that alcohol may have had a hand in his actions. “Basically what I’m saying is, I need to learn how to shake hands,” he finished.
Spicer’s appearance at the Emmys caused quite a stir on Twitter, with many commentators pointing out it constituted a “normalization” of what many view as Spicer’s dishonesty with the American people.
Watch the video of Corden’s opening monologue here.
.@seanspicer can normalize himself in good fun, but he still passionately advocated against human rights, health care, & American values
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) September 18, 2017
If u think that Spicer should be allowed to participate in anything but an apology, you really dont understand anything&im bummed about you.
— jenny slate (@jennyslate) September 18, 2017
I'm not ready to laugh "with" Sean Spicer. I think he is an evil, opportunistic liar that hurt our country.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 18, 2017