The Prom is out on Netflix, and some people think that James Corden shouldn't have been invited. Ryan Murphy's new musical adaptation follows a group of self-absorbed Broadway stars who travel to Indiana to help a lesbian teen named Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman), who's been banned from bringing her girlfriend to prom. Corden plays Barry, a gay theatre actor who helps Emma own her identity while coming to terms with his own past. However, fans' tweets about James Corden in The Prom expressed their disappointment in the straight actor's performance, which many saw as an offensive portrayal full of LGBTQ stereotypes.
The film is based on the beloved 2018 Broadway show of the same name, which starred openly gay performer Brooks Ashmanskas as Barry. Murphy's adaptation initially received positive buzz from critics for its glittery musical numbers and heartwarming themes, but Corden's role was a point of contention from the start.
Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson even named his review "James Corden Should Have Been Banned from The Prom," calling the actor's portrayal of a gay man "offensive."
"Corden, flitting and lisping around in the most uninspired of caricatures, misses all potential for nuance, and thus never finds even a hint of truth in the role," Lawson wrote.
Many fans seem to agree, taking to Twitter to criticize the performer's "gayface."
Many Twitter users also questioned why a gay actor wasn't considered for the role instead.
However, there were still a number of people who were moved by Corden's turn as Barry.
One of the people on Corden's side is his costar Andrew Rannells, who defended Corden's casting in a recent interview with Attitude.
“Obviously, representation is very important, but what I feel that Ryan [Murphy] does so well is, you know, it’s the best person for the job, quite frankly,” Rannells said. “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 Prom is now streaming on Netflix, so you can decide for yourself whether or not to accept this particular promposal.