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James Corden slammed for "offensive" gay stereotyping in new movie

James Corden slammed for
© Netflix
James Corden receives a mauling from the critics for his performance as a gay man in new Ryan Murphy movie The Prom.

James Corden has been savaged by critics for his performance in Ryan Murphy's new Netflix movie The Prom.

The film is an adaptation of the musical of the same name and has an all-star cast that also includes Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

Corden takes on the role of Barry, a gay actor whose best days are behind him, but his turn has not gone down well with critics who have previewed the movie.

Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair wrote: "Corden, who is straight, is so bad in The Prom - somehow both appalling and terminally bland - that it had me thinking maybe the hardliners were right along. Forget the whole case-by-case thing: No more straight actors playing gay men until the sins of The Prom are properly atoned for.

"Murphy, a gay man, has led some straight actors into fertile gay territory before, like Darren Criss in The Assassination of Gianni Versace. But 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. And this is in a movie that's supposed to be about empowering queer people!"

AwardsWatch's Erik Anderson gave the film a good review but agreed on Corden, 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."

Matt Donnelly, Variety's senior film writer, tweeted: "Ryan Murphy delivers some of his most uncluttered, concise directing ever in #TheProm and then gives James Corden a bullhorn to lisp through. Horrifying stereotypes abound. 'I'm as a gay as a bucket of wigs' among the gems. How? Why? Glad that 130 million subscribers will have this message of acceptance. But not that portrayal from him."

The film is released on Netflix on December 11.


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Ryan Murphy pictured in June 2019
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