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James Corden says drama over restaurant ban is 'silly' because he did nothing wrong

"The Late Late Show" host was briefly banned from the famed New York City restaurant Balthazar over his alleged "abusive" behavior toward staff.
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James Corden said the drama surrounding his brief ban from the famed New York City restaurant Balthazar is "silly" because he has not done anything wrong.

The comedian and television show host was barred from dining at the famed eatery over his alleged "abusive" behavior toward staff, owner Keith McNally said in an Instagram post on Monday. Hours later, McNally rescinded the ban, saying "The Late Late Show" host had called him and "apologized profusely."

"I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level,” Corden said in an interview with The New York Times to promote his new Amazon Prime Video mini-series "Mammals."

Corden did not explain his version of events and did not say whether he actually apologized to McNally. He, instead, brushed off the uproar.

"I was there. I get it. I feel so Zen about the whole thing. Because I think it’s so silly," he said. "I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you. It’s certainly beneath your publication," he told The New York Times.

James Corden on "The Late Late Show" on May 9, 2022.
James Corden on "The Late Late Show" on May 9, 2022.Terence Patrick / CBS via Getty Images file

McNally had provided two examples of Corden’s alleged behavior, sharing what he said were manager's reports from this month and June.

One report said Corden showed a hair to an apologetic restaurant manager and demanded "another round of drinks this second." The report also said Corden demanded all the table's drinks be comped and hinted at writing "nasty reviews" about the restaurant online.

In another report, dated Oct. 9, Corden was described as becoming upset over his wife's egg yolk omelet. The report stated that Corden sent the omelet back because "there was a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk."

"The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with home fries instead of salad," the report said. "That’s when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: 'You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelet myself!' "

McNally said the server apologized, brought the floor manager to the table and the dish was returned again.

"After that, everything was fine," the report said, noting that the manager gave Corden promo Champagne glasses to "smooth things out."

McNally wrote in a separate Instagram post on Monday that he removed the ban because he believes in second chances.

In a subsequent post, McNally said he was conflicted. "On the one hand, he was definitely abusive to my staff, on the other hand, I feel really sorry for him right now," the restaurateur wrote.

McNally responded to Corden’s interview in an Instagram post Friday.

“I’ve no wish to kick a man when he’s down. Especially one who’s worth $100 Million, but when James Corden said in yesterday’s NY Times that he hadn’t done ‘anything wrong, on any level,’ was he joking? Or was he denying being abusive to my servers? Whatever Corden meant, his implication was clear: he didn’t do it,” he wrote, urging the host to “come clean” and to also apologize to the servers.

"If he goes one step further and apologizes to the 2 servers he insulted, I’ll let him eat for free at Balthazar for the next 10 years," McNally wrote.

During his interview with The New York Times, Corden pointed out a customer who "curtly" returned the eggs she ordered. The television show host told the Times reporter that it "happens every day" and seemingly joked: "It’s always about eggs."

"Can you imagine now, if we just blasted her on Twitter? Would that be fair? This is my point. It’s insane," he said.