James Corden has made light of the backlash he received after he was spotted planting a kiss on the cheek of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The British star, 39, was criticised after he was pictured backstage at the Emmys with Spicer, who made a cameo at the TV awards ceremony. Corden told Monday’s instalment of his Late, Late Show that he had heard his critics “loud and clear”.
“I know you think that is 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… at the Emmys. I just happened to kiss the biggest one there.”
He admitted that some people had been “disappointed” by the photo, and added: “I’m disappointed by it as well. I am, have been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter today, and I hear you loud and clear, truly, I do.”
Spicer was a surprise guest at the annual TV awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday night, arriving on stage during host Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue. He came on stage to joke “this will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys – period”, making a reference to the debacle over numbers attending Donald’s Trump’s inauguration speech.
Former Scrubs actor Zach Braff was among Spicer’s detractors, tweeting: “I’m not ready to laugh ‘with’ Sean Spicer. I think he is an evil, opportunistic liar that hurt our country.” And Corden was criticised over the image, which appeared to show the chat show host leaning in to give the politician a kiss on the check, while Spicer pulled a funny face.
“If you were ever on the fence about James Corden… allow me to help you decide,” one Twitter user wrote, while another asked: “Can we take James Corden’s passport off him?”