James Corden’s “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” in hot water for disparaging traditional Asian cuisine
A petition to cancel the segment is now up to 40,000 signatures.
A petition to cancel James Corden’s “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” segment on CBS’ The Late Late Show has amassed nearly 40,000 signatures after TikTok and Instagram influencer Kim Saira said the segment ridicules traditional Asian cuisine.
The “Spill Your Guts” segment has been popular on The Late Late Show for the last five years, with celebrity guests, such as Chrissy Teigan, Gordon Ramsay, and Harry Styles, sitting down to either answer uncomfortable questions or “eat whatever disgusting food is before them,” according to the show’s YouTube page.
Included in the segment are foods such as century eggs, beef tongue, chicken feet, fish eyes, and balut, which Saira said she eats with her family.
In an episode from 2016, with featured guest and fellow late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, the two cringed at the food and made disparaging comments about the contents and odor.
Among the display were balut, jellyfish, chicken feet, ghost pepper hot sauce, pig blood curd, and a 1,000 year old egg.
Saira, who is of Filipino and Chinese descent, spoke to NBC Asian America about her first reactions to the show, saying she was initially very confused that balut was featured. Balut is a Filipino term used to describe a fertilized duck egg, and is a popular food in several Asian countries.
“Growing up, balut was a super sentimental food to me because I ate it with my grandma and my cousins in the Philippines. So when I saw that it was featured as a disgusting, horrifying food...I was really confused,” Saira said.
In her now viral TikTok, Saira posted a short clip of the 2016 episode and wrote in text “this is so actual Asian food,” and that the segment is “so disrespectful.”
ok but this is actual Asian food & youre going on live tv telling people how gross it is. thats cringe
“When I see this segment and how they’re calling Asian cultures’ food gross, it brings me back to the time when I was younger and getting teased for my lunch,” she said. “It’s the same feeling, and it’s being shown to a global audience.”
“People are being influenced to think that native foods from Asian countries are ‘disgusting,’ or ‘horrifying,’” she wrote in the petition. “Content like this continually perpetuates and encourages harm and racism against Asian-Americans in our daily lives.”
After the petition gained momentum on social media earlier this month, Saira announced to her 99.6k Instagram followers that supporters can join an event held outside Corden’s LA studio on Thursday, June 24, to eat the Asian food featured in the segment and protest for a change to the show.
In a push being called #CancelSpillYourGuts, the petition calls for an on-air apology from Corden and that the show either change the food used during the segment or cancel it entirely. Saira is also calling for Corden to donate to Asian-owned restaurants and small businesses.
Saira told NBC Asian America that the recent wave of pro-Asian activism in response to widespread hate crimes made her reflect deeper on Hollywood portrayals of Asianness and it inspired her to call out Corden and his team for the damage the show inflicts on Asian communities.
In an Instagram post published on Monday, June 14, Saira created a graphic that reads: “Dear Late Late Show, Don’t Yuck Another Culture’s Yum.” In the caption, she wrote that it is racially insensitive for a white man who isn’t a part of these cultures, to be “profiting and exploiting them in a negative light.”
Please read our statement regarding the “Spill Your Guts” segment on James Corden’s The Late Late Show.
This is unacceptable and a formal apology must be made. pic.twitter.com/dLPp56fcYR
— NAPAWF (@NAPAWF) June 18, 2021
Driving her point home, Saira said that these kinds of segments give other white people a reason to think that Asian foods are “gross,” and gives them a pass to openly mock them without giving them a chance.
It gives non-POC a reason to think that our foods are “disgusting,” and gives them a pass for them to openly mock them in the real world, without them even trying it first. This also encourages anti-Asian racism.
For too long, Asian-Americans have been quiet about their oppression, but the trauma has reached a boiling point and necessary boundaries are being set. It’s no longer acceptable to “yuck another culture’s yum” on live TV.