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I can’t quite believe this, you guys. I’m shaking as I type it, but it appears the messiest feud of the year is back on.
Not, Kanye vs. Pete or Olivia vs. Florence.
I’m talking James Corden vs. French restaurant.
For those just catching up, on Monday, New York restaurateur Keith McNally called out the host of The Late Late Show on Instagram for supposedly being rude to servers at his trendy Manhattan eatery Balthazar.
McNally banned Corden, calling him “a tiny Cretin of a man” and “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.”
He listed two alleged incidents in which Corden was rude to staff: the first was in June, in which he was said to have found a hair in his meal and subsequently was “extremely nasty” to the manager, demanding free drinks in exchange for not leaving a Yelp review.
The second incident was earlier this month when there were some mixups with his wife’s order of an egg yolk omelet. “You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job!” McNally quoted Corden as yelling at staff. “Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelet myself!”
Well, the very public shaming prompted a social media storm and immediate news headlines, as well as an apparent apology from Corden.
Just hours after his original post on Instagram, McNally posted again, writing that Corden was contrite and had apologized.
“James Corden just called me and apologized profusely,” McNally wrote. “Having fucked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances.”
McNally said Corden’s ban was lifted and that “all is forgiven.”
“Anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere,” he wrote.
Well, that was until Corden decided to proceed with a pre-planned interview with New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff on Thursday morning, telling the journalist he didn’t want to cancel despite the controversy because he thought he was innocent.
“I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level,” Corden told the Times reporter. “So why would I ever cancel this? I was there. I get it. I feel so zen about the whole thing. Because I think it’s so silly. I just think it’s beneath all of us.”
Corden and Itzkoff met at a restaurant for their interview, where, the reporter wrote, a nearby diner was complaining to a server about her eggs.
“Happens every day. It’s happening in 55,000 restaurants as we speak. It’s always about eggs,” Corden said. “Can you imagine now, if we just blasted her on Twitter? Would that be fair? This is my point. It’s insane.”
The comedian also mocked the idea that his rudeness was a topic of gossip among people.
“Should we not all be a little grown-up about this?” Corden told the Times. “I promise you, ask around this restaurant. They don’t know about this. Maybe 15 percent of people. I’ve been here, been walking around New York, not one person’s come up to me. We’re dealing in two worlds here.”
Well, it seems this New York Times interview was enough to get Corden back on Balthazar’s naughty list.
In a new Instagram post on Friday, McNally again lashed out at Corden for equivocating about the incidents.
“Was he joking? Or was he denying being abusive to my servers?” McNally wrote. “Whatever Corden meant, his implication was clear: he didn’t do it.”
“I wish James Corden would live up to his Almighty initials and come clean,” McNally added. “If the supremely talented actor wants to retrieve the respect he had from all his fans (all 4 of them) before this incident, then he should at least admit he did wrong. 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.”
Representatives for Corden didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News on Friday, but the comedian indicated to the Times that he would probably discuss the whole affair on Monday’s episode of his show.
We know the whole country — nay, the world — awaits with bated breath.
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