Somewhere along the way, late night shows using their platform for extensive political commentary became not only cool, but rewarded with higher ratings. Stephen Colbert recently rode Trump criticism all the way to a CBS late-night ratings win for the first time since 1995.
Even The Late Late Show’s James Corden isn’t immune to political commentary’s siren song. On a recent episode, Corden talked about his disappointment with Donald Trump’s handling of AIDS/HIV victims in America. Corden cited stats like how nearly 60 percent of the 1.1 million Americans who live with HIV/AIDS are unable to access life-saving medications and that 36.7 million people worldwide have some form of HIV/AIDS. Additionally, Corden voiced his sadness over the recent departure of six members from Trump’s presidential advisory committee on HIV/AIDS, because they didn’t believe the president cared enough about the problem.
All of that is fine and good, but James Corden then decides Trump’s attitude is based on having never seen the film Philadelphia. To remedy the president’s mistake, Corden called the White House to ask if his team could mail them a copy of the film. Naturally, they declined the offer.
Corden then had a revelation. Trump is never at the White House anyway; he’s always at Mar-A-Lago. Why not a send copies of the film there instead? Corden, apparently not one for subtlety, didn’t just mail a DVD with a few backups in case some curious postman opened one of the package. No, he sent 297 copies to Trump’s Florida hotel. Why 297? Because that’s the most they could buy online from various outlets such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
As way of explanation, Corden says: “We hope that if Trump watches Philadelphia he’ll understand two things. One: Tom Hanks definitely deserved that Oscar. And two: we hope that he’ll realize that HIV and AIDS is something that you, or any president of the United States, or any world leader, cannot afford to ignore.”
It’s hard to understand Corden’s real purpose behind the stunt. Does he actually expect the president to watch the film just because 300 copies showed up where he likes to golf? Will anybody from the resort even tell Trump they’ve arrived? Even if the man sits down to watch the film, does Corden truly believe it’ll make a difference?
We appreciate Corden’s commitment to giving a voice to the marginalized sufferers of HIV/AIDS, but does he have to do it in such a tongue-in-cheek, ridiculous way? Even if it’s for a good cause, there’s just a faint hint of a self-promotional stunt that doesn’t sit well.
Check out the entire clip above and decide for yourself.