James Corden took some time at the start of Monday’s episode of “The Late Late Show” to acknowledge a recent controversy involving his now-reversed ban from New York restaurant Balthazar, offering an apology for “the rude comment” he directed toward the business’s waitstaff. Corden said he made the comment “in the heat of the moment” after his table was accidentally served a dish his wife would’ve had an allergic reaction to.
“I didn’t shout or scream. I didn’t get up out of my seat. I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language. I have been walking around thinking that I hadn’t done anything wrong, right? But the truth is I have. I made a rude comment and it was wrong,” Corden stated. “It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server.”
Balthazar owner Keith McNally first publicly banned Corden from his business last week, posting a statement on Instagram that alleged two separate incidents of rude behavior by the late-night host. But McNally reversed the ban after a phone call with Corden in which the comedian “apologized profusely.”
“I called him straight away and I told him how upset I was that anybody was hurt by anything that I had said. We had a good talk. He appreciated the call,” Corden said in his monologue. “I was happy that we got to clear the air and I felt like we dealt with it privately. But by this point, the story was out there. People were upset.”
Corden also offered his praise for Balthazar — “I love it there, the food, the vibe, the service” — and explained why he had been slow to publicly comment on the situation.
“Whenever these sorts of moments come my way, I like to quite adopt a British attitude,” Corden stated. “Never complain, never explain. It’s very much my motto. But as my dad pointed out to me on Saturday, he said, ‘Son, you did complain. So you might need to explain.’ Look, when you make a mistake, you have to take responsibility.”
Corden also expressed hope that he would be welcomed back to Balthazar when visiting New York, so that he could offer his apologies in person.
Monday evening’s broadcast of “The Late Late Show” represents the first after a brief hiatus for the late-night series. In an interview last week, Corden stated that he had plans to address the controversy on the evening’s program.