As backlash continues to Sean Spicer's controversial appearance on Sunday's Emmys, one CBS late-night host on Monday addressed criticism that he'd gotten too close to the former White House press secretary.
James Corden, who was photographed Sunday night giving Spicer a kiss on the cheek, joked about and admitted he was "disappointed" by the photo during his monologue on Monday's Late Late Show.
Recapping the Emmys, Corden said, “The big winners last night were Donald Glover, Hulu and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer won best actor in a comedy for his role in Donald Trump’s administration.”
“According to some reports at the afterparty, Spicer was the post popular guy in the room.” Corden added. “And I just want to say, I think people are forgetting that this man lied to the American people, and should not be embraced. These Hollywood phonies kissing up to Sean Spicer are disgusting. I mean, who did this? Who are we talking about here?”
The photo of Corden smooching Spicer then appeared on the screen, causing him to grimace.
Still Corden continued to joke: “I know you think that is a picture of me kissing Sean Spicer. But in the spirit of Sean Spicer — no, it isn't!”
Attempting to provide an explanation, Corden blamed celebratory drinks at the Emmys afterparty. “Anyone ever have that feeling when you get a little drunk and then wake up the next morning and think, ‘Oh God, who did I kiss last night?’ It’s a bit like that.”
In his defense, Corden joked, “To be fair, everyone was kissing ass last night at the Emmys. I just happened to kiss the biggest one there.”
He then got serious.
“Understandably, some people have been disappointed by this photo. In truth, I’m disappointed by it as well,” Corden began. Further admitting, “I am, have been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter today, and I hear you loud and clear, truly, I do.”
After admitting his embarrassment, Corden then lightheartedly referenced another controversial political figure, “I’m really starting to regret that "Carpool Karaoke" that we’ve taped with Steve Bannon. Feels like a mistake today.”
“I can promise you this, that kiss was a one-time thing. I’m not one of these people who has a couple of drinks and goes around kissing people that I don’t know,” Corden assured before a collage of photographs appeared on the screen displaying the host kissing other famous faces such as Harry Styles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bryan Cranston, Allison Janney, Ken Jeong and Daniel Radcliffe.
Concluding his monologue, Corden admitted that his usual greeting tactic needs to be reevaluated, confessing, “Basically, what I’m saying is, I need to learn how to shake hands!”
Spicer's appearance on the Emmys has been widely criticized by stars and members of the media for possibly normalizing inaccurate statements delivered by the press secretary when he worked for President Trump, including Spicer's infamous boasting about the size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration.