Who do you think is right?
A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.
At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.
"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.
He then referenced an article from The New York Times entitled, "Our Food is Killing Us" with a quote that reads: "Poor diet is the leading case of mortality in the United States." Then, he listed all of the terrible health conditions that are caused by obesity.
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube
"We scream at Congress to find a way to pay for our medical bills but it wouldn't be nearly the issue it is if people didn't just eat like assholes" he continued.
"I know that this is a controversial thing to say now in today's America, but being fat is a bad thing," he said, in reference to the body positivity movement.
Maher's solution? "Fat-shaming doesn't need to end. it needs to make a comeback. Some amount of shame is good," he said.
The video prompted late-night talk show host James Corden to give a sincere response.
"When I was watching it I was like, 'Ah man somebody needs to say something about this. If only there was someone with a platform who knew what it was actually like to be overweight.' And then I realized, Ah that would be me," Cordon said.
Before his rebuttal, he noted that he works at the same studio as Maher he has always been cordial. But, he believes that Maher is terribly wrong to suggest that fat-shaming has gone away.
"Fat shaming never went anywhere — ask literally any fat person," Corden said. "We are reminded of it all the time. On airplanes, on Instagram, when someone leaves a pie on the window sill to cool and they give us a look like,'Don't you dare!'"
"We know that being overweight isn't good for us and I've struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight and I suck at it," Corden admitted.
Then he took a dead aim at Maher. "We're not all as lucky as Bill Maher. We don't all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day."
Corden believes that Maher made some good points about obesity and how it relates to healthcare, but that he's cutting off his nose to spite his face.
"The truth is, you're working against your own cause," Corden said. "It's proven that fat-shaming only does one thing, and that makes people feel ashamed and shame leads to depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior. Self-destructive behavior like overeating."
Maher is dead right when he says that when Americans are unhealthy we all have to pay for it, whether it's through insurance or government programs like Medicaid and Medicare. So that means if people really want quality, affordable healthcare the best place to start is by changing our habits as a culture.
But Corden is right to criticize Maher for saying that bullying is the solution.
"If making fun of fat people made them lose weight there'd be no fat kids in schools," Corden said. "And I'd have a six-pack right now."
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