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Culturally Offensive? James Corden’s “Spill Your Guts” Accused Of Mocking Asian Delicacies

today12 June 2021

Background

The Late Late Show with James Corden is a massive hit. The show – which saw Corden take over from Craig Ferguson in 2015 – has been nothing short of a hit with 12 Emmy awards nominations. It’s churned out massive;y successful segments like “Carpool Karaoke”, “Drop The Mic”, and “Crosswalk the Musical”. Unfortunately, one segment that’s been taking a hit is “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts”.

 

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In the recurring segment, Corden and his celebrity guest (or guests) of the night have a round table question-and-answer moment where they either: a) answer really embarrassing, self-deprecating, or controversial questions or b) eat various foods he is often heard describing as “gross” or “horrific”. Now, these foods can range from small insects and animal bodily fluids, or random organs (like a tongue).

 

 

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However, one specific clip from 2016 has raised calls for the segment to be scrapped. The clip, highlighted in a Tiktok by @kimsaira, sees both Corden and host Jimmy Kimmel, who look rather despondent as they look at the dishes laid out in from of them. Amongst them are food items like thousand-year-old eggs (aka century eggs), blood pudding and balut. Not only does Kimmel say “Wow it all looks so terrible,” he goes on to describe the smell as “terrible” while Corden chimes in with:

 

“It’s really disgusting; it’s horrific.”

 

Now, each of the abovementioned items are Asian delicacies with major cultural significance. The history of the century egg, a delicacy in Hong Kong, can be dated back to the Ming Dynasty and sees duck (sometimes even chicken and quail) eggs preserved in a mixture of salt, lime and ash, then wrapping in rice husks. As for balut, you may already know of it as an affordable and nutritious snack that’s popular in the Philipines. It’s also often prepared on special occasions and religious festivals. Recognized as a national food of the Philippines, history suggests that it was brought in brought by Chinese traders to the Philippines.

 

With that being said, it’s no wonder that the original YouTube clip – which has over 27 million views – is now under fire. The original TikTok user who shared the TikTok went on to make a Change.org petition, after receiving numerous DMs from people who wanted to do something about the blatant disregard for Asia culture, calling on Corden to “completely change the food presented on his show” or “remove the segment entirely,” issue a “formal apology” on his show and make a donation to support “Asian-owned restaurants and small businesses.” Saira said in an interview with TODAY:

 

“I’ve been getting comments asking if it’s really racist for them to be putting these foods out, because to, you know, an average person who isn’t familiar with these foods, it does come off as unappealing. And I do think that it is racist because these foods are, they’ve existed in Asian cultures for thousands of years. And for someone on … the show to deliberately pick these foods, they’re very aware of the cultural … someone has to be aware of the cultural background.”

 

 

*Cover image credits: @j_corden/FotoosVanRobin 

Written by: Marissa Anne


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