Because the Earth still continues to spin on an axis around the sun, there are still 365 days in the year, grass grows upwards, and Bill Maher continues to say very dumb shit. Bill’s unsolicited opinions have offended the likes of black community, the Muslim community, and the nerd community. Most recently, Bill came out as pro-fat shaming. That didn’t sit well with James Corden, who decided to drag Bill on behalf of the fat community.
On the September 6th episode of Real Time With Bill Maher, Bill spent nearly seven minutes arguing about America’s obesity epidemic. Bill pointed out that 53 Americans died in August from mass shootings, where as 40,000 died from obesity-related causes. According to him, it could all be solved by shaming fat people into not being fat anymore.
“But why do people have so many pre-existing conditions? Being fat isn’t a birth defect. Nobody comes out of the womb needing to buy two seats on the airplane…Poor diet is the leading cause of mortality in the United States…We scream at congress to find a way to pay for our medical bills, but it wouldn’t be nearly the issue it is if people just didn’t eat like assholes.
We have gone to this weird place where fat is good. It’s pointing out that fat is unhealthy – that’s what’s bad. Fat shame? No, we fit shame…Fat shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback. Some amount of shame is good. We shame people out of smoking, and into wearing seatbelts, we shame them out of littering…Shame is the first step in reform.”
To be fair, it’s hard not to eat like an asshole when your only option is a cheese slice on corn chips, but what do I know? Bill is clearly the obesity expert here.
The easiest counter-point to Bill’s argument is that the internet has been calling out Bill’s big fat mouth for years, and it’s still one of the leading causes of rotational ocular muscle strain. But James Corden took a much kinder approach, and dedicated nearly eight minutes during Friday’s episode of The Late Late Show to educating Bill on why his opinion is wrong.
James explained that shaming fat people doesn’t make fat people any less fat. It just makes them feel shitty, which in turn might make them eat more and get fatter. James says he knows Bill, and that they shoot their shows in the same building, adding that Bill has been nothing but pleasant and nice to him. He also believes that Bill has people’s best interests at heart, and that Bill is trying to help without sugarcoating the truth.
James also points out that Bill was wrong in trying to argue that Europe doesn’t have fat people (James is from the UK, so he knows). Additionally, James points out the most obvious fact missing from Bill’s obesity plan, which is that childhood obesity is directly linked to poverty (rather than, let’s say – access to hearing someone chant “fatty fatty two by four” on the playground). But James didn’t just educate Bill – he also read his self-righteous ass.
“I’ve struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight and I suck at it. Right? I have had good days and bad months. I’ve basically been off and on diets since as long as I can remember, and, well, this is how it’s going. Right? But we’re not – here’s the thing. We’re not all as lucky as Bill Maher. You know? We don’t all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day.”
Then later, at the 4:30 mark:
Bill Maher: “It’s not just about being able to see a doctor, it’s about being able to see your dick.”
James Corden: “Believe me, I can see a dick.”
James’ rebuttal was well-received, and some famous people took to social media to applaud him:
This is a fucking brilliant piece by @JKCorden on fat shaming. I recommend it to you all. I whole heartedly agree with everything he is saying here and I hope @billmaher takes a second to listen, because this is so important. https://t.co/mO6oeUD0gN
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) September 13, 2019
I was a fat kid growing up. I had to wear Husky Pants. Everyday was enduring mockery & bullying. Yes we need to be healthier but fat shaming doesn't work, never has. Glad @JKCorden did this rebuttal to Bill Maher, who has always been a bully (and bigoted towards Arabs & Muslims). https://t.co/HXA3XBvCTv
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) September 14, 2019
As someone who has been fat shammed pretty much since puberty and is told on a daily hourly basis by the internet I need to lose weight/diet. I am so grateful for @JKCorden's message here. Also so much of the obesity epidemic is about poverty and access to health care. https://t.co/Rh93UcAUZI
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) September 14, 2019
James is right. Shaming does nothing! I fit Bill Maher’s description of someone who eats like an asshole. And I can tell you, the dirty looks I’ve gotten at Taco Bell while asking if it’s possible to fill my drink cup with nacho cheese have done nothing to shame me into eating better. The only thing that could make me stop ordering and go somewhere else might be if there was a TV playing Real Time With Bill Maher. I really can’t imagine being able to enjoy my meal when Bill’s smug face is staring down at me. Hey, wait – I think Bill might have the obesity epidemic solution after all!