Why it Matters That James Corden was Banned From Restaurant for Being ‘Most Abusive Customer’ Ever

2 mins read

Restaurateur Keith McNally banned James Corden from his iconic New York brasserie Balthazar for being the “most abusive customer” ever.

McNally later unbanned Corden after he apologized to McNally — but now the comedian seems to be denying his behavior.

Why should IGAF: Some believe that Corden could be facing his “Ellen DeGeneres that the former Carpool Karaoke host may be the next victim of cancel culture.  

The Facts

  • In a viral Instagram post on October 18, McNally announced that he had banned Corden from his restaurants. He condemned the Late Late Show host as a “tiny cretin of a man,” who had repeatedly abused his restaurant staff — including one occasion when he lost his shit at the sight of “a little bit of egg white” inside an egg yolk omelette .
  • Hours later, McNally shared another Instagram post and lifted his ban on Corden. The restaurateur said that Corden had called and “apologized profusely.”
  • But in an interview with Dave Itzkoff at The New York Times on October 20, Corden was seemingly unapologetic about the incident. The comedian said he hadn’t “done anything wrong, on any level” and that the “silly” matter should not be reported on. “I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you,” Corden told Itzkoff. “It’s certainly beneath your publication.”
  • In a third Instagram post, McNally hit back at Corden. He said the comedian “should admit” to “being abusive” to his restaurant staff. McNally then declared that if Corden “apologizes to the 2 servers he insulted” then he could “eat for free at Balthazar for the next 10 years.”

Grand Scheme of Things: This is the most high-profile allegation against Corden after years of online rumors about the comedian’s “nasty” behavior. The incident is also part of a wider debate on what celebrities should be held accountable for in cancel culture.

  • Twitter users have been resurfacing the many, many past accusations against Corden — including a supposed plane ride when the star did nothing to help his own wife with their crying baby and a 2016 clip in which Corden was unable to name any of his crew on the Late Late Show.  
  • Reddit users dug up Corden’s infamous 2019 Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) that backfired after Redditors exchanged stories about the comedian’s tantrums instead of asking questions. Corden’s team had to abandon the AMA altogether.
  • The incident also raises the question about exactly what public figures should get canceled for and whether simply, being a horrible person in real life is justification enough. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2020, fellow comedian Eric Andre addressed Ellen DeGeneres’ cancellation. “Boohoo, Ellen was mean. Who gives a sh*t? I never thought she was nice!” says Andre. “Is that what cancel culture’s devolved to? ‘That guy’s not nice!’ James Corden is f*cked if that’s the only criteria to get called out.”

The Forecast: Corden has suggested that he will address restaurant-gate on the next episode of the Late Late Show on Monday.

While there may be parallels between DeGeneres’ fall from grace, that does not mean Corden will be canceled too.