James Corden broke down in tears as he discussed racism on 'The Late, Late Show'
The 41-year-old presenter grew emotional and admitted he wished he could "put [his] arm around" his bandleader Reggie Watts after the musician reflected on his own experiences
6 June 2020
Reggie said: "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 neighbourhood.
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"My mom was a fierce fighter and would get out of the house and get in people's faces about, you know, people calling me the N-word or whatever growing up and being different and stuff. So I feel really grateful that my parents and my father fought so hard to make my life feel normal and to have me grow 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 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 recognised in the US because of laws prohibiting interracial marriage."
Growing tearful, Reggie said: "I have this history in the black community in the Midwest that I don't access a lot because there's a lot of pain and emotion there.
"So it's hard and so much is happening. And I want to use my platform for good. I go in and out, you know
Wiping away tears, James replied: "I'm so sorry that you're feeling this. I would give anything to be in a room with you and put my arm around. I would so much, I would give anything to be able to put my arm around you."
The British presenter admitted he had been "struggling" to know what to say about the civil unrest in the US in the wake of the death of George Floyd - who passed away after a police officer knelt on his neck to restrain him - but offered support and called for change.
He said: "Who needs my opinion? Surely, this is a time for me to listen, not talk.
"And then I realise 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 to have a platform. I'm talking about white people.
"White people cannot just say anymore, 'Yeah, I'm not racist.' And think that that's enough, because it's not.
"It's not enough, because make no mistake, this is our problem to solve. How can the black community dismantle a problem that they didn't create?"