Dear James Corden: shut up or stand up.

3 mins read


James Corden at the annual amfAR gala in LA. Credit: BBC NEWSBEAT

James Corden,

You have no right to stand there and throw cheap jokes at the expense of those speaking up against Harvey Weinstein. While you have the platform to say what you want, those who may have been preyed on have had their lips stitched shut. What you have is your ‘privilege’ of being stamped as a mediocre celebrity in the eyes of America. What you have is the “freedom of speech” made possible only by your celebrity status.

My heart goes out to the people who have been silenced for decades in the industry that is paying your bills. While you stand on that stage, you make a mockery of what is coming out of the dirty Hollywood woodwork, you devalue the horrific accusations that has come to the lime light and what is yet to come.

This is not the end of the story. Hollywood is riddled with powerful people doing powerful things. It happens in workplaces, in pubs, in the street-every day. The difference that you can make, James, is not to stand and laugh as people are trying to fight back, fight for the courage to speak up and stand up.  You could speak up. You can stand with the women and men who are saying “This is not okay. This needs to be stopped”. It is not just for the women who have come forward. It is for everybody who has faced sexual abuse-those too scared to say something in fear of being ridiculed, fired or labeled ‘over dramatic’.

What you had on that Charity Night event was an opportunity to be human and respectfully acknowledge what seems to be happening in the workforce that has swallowed you up. If you can’t do that, then shut up. Shut up or speak up against the monsters that loom and tear apart their victims. They don’t need your pathetic clickbait jokes, made acceptable because you’re a ‘funny British man’. They need strength; something they are gaining with every person who stands up. They do not need awkward laughs to drown out their fights and struggles, nor your pathetic excuse of an apology to save your status. To take down someone powerful, a powerful defence needs to be built. And that wont come with some bumbling ‘funny man’.

James Corden, if you choose to stand up and joke for your own gain about sexual assault, don’t bother. Your silence would be better than that.

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