James Corden addressed the topic of white privilege on The Late Late Show on Thursday evening, managing to make the lesson both entertaining and educational for viewers. In a purposefully satirical segment, he chatted with one of his show's writers, Olivia Harewood, about what white privilege is exactly and how it can be used to help in the fight against racial injustice.
After jokingly interrupting his show, Olivia said, "You have an amazing tool to help fight structural racism." James went on to rattle off a few guesses as to what she was referring to . . . His celebrity? His platform? His charisma? But alas, she was talking about his privilege as a white person. James responded, "Let's pretend as an exercise that I don't 100 percent know what that means, but I do know that when I hear it, it makes me feel bad." Olivia explained, "Having privilege isn't your fault. It's something you inherited, not something you did wrong."
"What privilege does mean, specifically white privilege, is that your skin color didn't make your life more challenging."
James retorted with a common defense: "I didn't inherit anything. I didn't grow up in a wealthy home. I'm not privileged in any way." This led Olivia to lay out the definition of white privilege with a clear, concise explanation. "One of the biggest misconceptions about privilege is that saying you have it is saying you have an easy life or that you had it easy growing up. It doesn't mean that. What privilege does mean, specifically white privilege, is that your skin color didn't make your life more challenging."
Olivia went on to share a few ways — both big and small — white people can use their privilege to speak up for and support people of color once they first acknowledge its existence. Watch the entire skit above to hear James and Olivia's informative conversation, and if you have children and are looking for ways to teach them about white privilege, we have have helpful tips on that here.