‘His performance is gross and offensive’: Straight actor James Corden receives backlash for playing gay character in The Prom
James Corden has received criticism from some film fans for portraying a gay character in his new movie The Prom, despite being straight.
The actor, 42, plays Broadway star Barry Glickman in the film alongside gay actor Andrew Rannells, who plays the straight male lead role of Trent Oliver.
Some fans have said James’ portrayal of the character relies on gay stereotypes, however his co-star Andrew has defended him, saying movie casting is about finding ‘the best person for the job’.
Role: James Corden has received criticism from some film fans for portraying a gay character in his new movie The Prom, despite being straight
Speaking to Attitude magazine, Andrew said he thinks ‘representation’ in films and TV is important but added that the movie’s director Ryan Murphy, who is gay, is ‘looking for talent’ first and foremost.
He said: ‘You know, I kinda go back and forth about this. Obviously, representation is very important, but what I feel that Ryan does so well is, you know, it’s the best person for the job, quite frankly.
‘In the same way that James can play the gay character, he’s also given me an opportunity to play a straight character, which is not something I do all the time.
‘As much as he takes [an actor’s sexuality] into consideration, I think ultimately he’s looking for talent and parts, and he’s given me the opportunity to play this part which maybe another director wouldn’t have cast me in, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.’
The actor, 42, plays Broadway star Barry Glickman in the film alongside gay actor Andrew Rannells, (far left) who plays the straight male lead role of Trent Oliver
The film, which also stars Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, is based on the Broadway musical of the same name and follows a troupe of musical theatre stars who travel to a small town in Indiana in support of a girl who wants to take her girlfriend to her high school prom.
Reacting to James’ casting, one social media user said: ‘I’m only 3 minutes into The Prom movie and this James Corden performance is already giving bad gay stereotypes’.
Another said: ‘Why on earth would they hire James Corden… a British, straight TV show host to play a gay American Broadway actor?’ [sic]
Meanwhile, another user added: ‘His performance is gross and offensive, the worst gayface in a long, long time.’
Reaction: Some fans have said James’ portrayal of the character relies on gay stereotypes
Another unimpressed user wrote: ‘They couldn’t find ONE gay man in America? James Corden it is.’
The criticism comes as James was named as one of the winners at the prestigious Rose D’Or 2020 Awards earlier this month.
The chat show host accepted his golden award for the new Rose D’Or category: Innovation In The Time of Covid for Homefest: James Corden’s Late Late Show Special.
The Prom is streaming now on Netflix.
Defence: James’ co-star Andrew has defended him, saying movie casting is about finding ‘the best person for the job’