James Corden Publicly Apologizes for Berating Staff at Balthazar

Might he live to berate again?

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: James Corden attends the "Mammals" World Premiere during the 66th BFI ...
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James Corden has admitted to wrongdoing. JAMES CORDEN HAS ADMITTED TO WRONGDOING! His CGI cat tail is between his furry legs, covering up his digitally removed butthole, and he is cowering … in contrition!

To recap, last week New York restaurateur Keith McNally shared a typically provocative Instagram post claiming comedian James Corden had been rude, on two occasions, to members of his SoHo restaurant Balthazar’s waitstaff. The claim went that, some time ago, he berated the staff and demanded rounds of free drinks after allegedly finding a hair in his food. More recently, he berated the staff after there was egg white in his wife’s “egg yolk omelette.” McNally banned him from the restaurant for his (typically Cordenesque) behavior.

Soon after, McNally updated us, again via Instagram, that Corden had called him to apologize. For completing his penance, McNally unbanned him.

Soon after that, Corden told the New York Times that he hadn’t “done anything wrong, on any level.” After reading the interview, McNally took to Instagram again and seemed (though it was unclear due to his artful verbiage) to re-ban Corden from Balthazar.

And now we have arrived at now. “When you make a mistake, you’ve got to take responsibility,” Corden told his Late Late Show audience on Monday night, probably sensing an Ellen DeGeneres-like backlash in his future. He said that his Balthazar behavior was “unnecessary,” “ungracious,” “rude,” and “wrong.”

“Genuinely, I love it there,” he said of Balthazar. He explained that during his recent breakfast there, his wife — who “has a serious food allergy” — was brought the wrong dish three times. “As her meal came out wrong to the table the third time, in the heat of the moment I made a sarcastic, rude comment about cooking it myself,” he said. (Note that this does not align with McNally’s version; he claims the dish was returned twice — first for including egg white, and second for being served with homefries rather than salad.)

“It is a comment I deeply regret,” he said, explaining that because he “didn’t shout or scream” or “call anyone names or use derogatory language” he was under the impression he “hadn’t done anything wrong.”

“But the truth is, I had,” he said. “I made a rude comment, and it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server.” Thank you, James.

So, to recap — they messed up his wife’s dish three times and he didn’t even shout or scream or call anyone names or use derogatory language. And he’s apologizing? Oh my gosh … it seems despite every rumor to the contrary, this guy must be nice!

McNally has yet to update us on the status of his banishment, but if I were him I would not go to Balthazar again. (Might find something else in his egg yolks, if you understand my meaning.)

Update: A little after 1 p.m (EDT), Keith McNally posted what he says will be the last word on James Corden’s status at Balthazar. “LAST WORD........,” he wrote, accompanied by a smiling photo of James Corden. He continued:

“Last Night on his TV show, James Corden very graciously apologized for his outburst at Balthazar. It takes a real man to do this. In the past, I've behaved much worse than Corden, but wasn't man enough to apologize. For this reason, I'm going to lift the ban on Corden and impose one on myself instead. I'm going to ban myself from Balthazar for 2 weeks. People who live in Glass Houses…”

Banning yourself from work for two weeks … ingenious. That kind of thinking is what makes Balthazar a restaurant James Corden wouldn’t want to be banned from in the first place. Congrats, James, and once again I must reiterate my recommendation to still not eat at Balthazar. (I’m not sure the kitchen staff is as forgiving.)