Watch: James Corden & Reggie Watts Overcome By Emotion During Racism Discussion
Corden addressed the death of George Floyd and the civil unrest that has occurred in response. Floyd’s death has sparked protests, both peaceful and violent, across the country as well as a national outcry for justice on social media.
The host opened his show by paying respect to Floyd’s death as well as the recent killings of other black citizens: Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Corden disclosed he had been “struggling all weekend” and wondering how he could use his platform to address the situation.
“Because, who needs my opinion? Surely, this is a time for me to listen, not talk, And then I realize that that’s part of the problem. People like me have to speak up. To be clear, I’m not talking about late-night hosts, or people who are fortunate like I am to have a platform. I’m talking about white people. White people cannot just say anymore, ‘Yeah, I’m not a racist.’ And think that that’s enough, because it’s not,” Corden said.
Corden then checked in with Watts who said he was “feeling so much simultaneously, it’s crazy.” Watts then went on to share about his upbringing and how his parents had to combat many forms of racism.
“I was fortunate to grow up in a place where I was pretty protected by my parents when it came to forms of racism that happened in my neighborhood,” Watts said. “So I feel really grateful that my parents and my father fought so hard to make my life feel normal and to have me growing up feeling like I’m a human being rather than I’m a demographic. And just going back in my history, my father growing up in the Midwest and being in Vietnam and not being able to get a job when he got out of the Army because he was black. And then the economy wasn’t doing that well and he had to reenlist, got sent back to Vietnam. And then when my parents got married their marriage wasn’t recognized in the U.S. because of laws prohibiting interracial marriage.”
As Watts told his story, Corden broke down in tears.
“I’m so sorry that you’re feeling this. I would give anything to be in a room with you and … to be able to put my arm around you,” Corden told his friend.
Watch Corden and Watts’s full conversation by clicking the link below.