James Corden’s Performance As Gay Man In Netflix’s The Prom Labelled ‘Horrifically Bad’ By Viewers
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Featured Image Credit: Netflix
The story follows a group of past-it Broadway performers who team up to support a young girl who is desperate to take her girlfriend to prom in her conservative Indiana town.
But while the plot has been praised for being rich and inclusive, James Cordon's performance as gay actor Barry Glickman in the film has received huge backlash.
The 42-year-old, who identifies as heterosexual, has been criticised by film reviewers and fans for leaning into offensive gay stereotypes, with many slamming him as "horrifically bad".
After watching the film, which boasts an all-star cast including Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, several fans took to Twitter to criticise the casting choice.
"Why on Earth would they hire James Corden... a British, straight, TV show host that can't sing... to play a gay American Broadway actor... next to the amazing Andrew Rannells, who fits the role perfectly?" queried one viewer.
"James Corden's performance is grossly inappropriate," said another. "It's not brave playing a gay man, in fact you stole the role from a member of the LGBTQ community."
"So... we couldn't get a gay man to play James Corden's role in The Prom? They were all too busy? Do we still think it's kosher to have non-LGBTQIA people playing aggressively flamboyant, stereotypical gay characters? " said a third.
Another added: "James Corden in The Prom is just not it - bordering on the homophobic."
So... we couldn't get a gay man to play James Corden's role in #TheProm ? They were all too busy? Do we still think it's kosher to have non-LGBTQIA people playing aggressively flamboyant, stereotypical gay characters?
Does anyone ever learn? LMK. pic.twitter.com/PjgiKMbZLc
- james fishon (@jamesfishon) December 13, 2020
"James Corden, a straight man, portraying a gay man like this just makes me 100000% uncomfortable," a fourth chipped in.
Critics were similarly damning of James, with AwardsWatch's Erik Anderson (who described The Prom as gorgeous and vibrant) writing: "The main, and huge, drawback is James Corden. His performance is gross and offensive, the worst gayface in a long, long time. It's horrifically bad."
However, James himself has since defended the casting choice, saying he is "proud of his performance."
"You spend quite a long time, just personally, feeling like you might be able to have a bit more to give," he told the Metro. "Like you might be able to have a bit more depth and you want someone like Ryan to come along and drop a script in your lap like this.
"And then you go, 'Oh God, what if I am not able to do these things?'. Rya - I will be indebted to forever for his guidance - the way that he led me through it...the way he led me through it as a director, the way he led me through it as a friend, the way he led me through it as a gay man. And I'll treasure those days.
"I find it very moving when I think about how I felt on those days when it was just Meryl [Streep] and I. I love those scenes and I'm very proud of them."
The Prom is available to view on Netflix.