- Bandleader Reggie Watts appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on Monday night and got emotional talking about the racism he and his family have faced.
- Watts, who is biracial, has a French mother and an African-American father, and grew up in Great Falls, Montana.
- He said his mother would protect him from racism growing up and that his father struggled to find employment outside of the army because of the colour of his skin.
- Watts started sobbing and Corden said he would “give anything to put my arm around you.”
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James Corden kicked off the “Late Late Show” on Monday night with an impassioned, optimistic monologue about the need for societal change following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd died on May 25, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes despite Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe – footage of the incident has since sparked nationwide protests.
Corden was joined by bandleader Reggie Watts who got emotional talking about his own experience with racism growing up biracial.
Asked by Corden about how he was feeling, Watts responded: “I don’t know. Feeling so much simultaneously. It’s crazy.”
Watts spoke about his parents – his mother was French and his father was African-American – who protected him against racism growing up, and told of how his father had had to reenlist in the army after failing to get a job because of the colour of his skin.
He said his parents’ marriage also wasn’t recognised because of laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
“I have this history of the black community in the Midwest that I don’t access a lot because there’s a lot of pain and emotion there,” Watts said.
The musician then began sobbing, saying: “It’s hard. There’s so much happening.”
“I would give anything to be in a room with you and put my arm around you,” Corden responded through tears. “I would give anything to put my arm around you.”
Corden ended the segment with footage from British rapper Dave’s performance of his song “Black” at the BRIT Awards this year.
Watch the full video below:
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