James Corden’s Performance As Gay Man In Netflix’s The Prom Labelled ‘Horrifically Bad’

by : Cameron Frew on :

James Corden has been slammed for his performance as a gay man in Netflix’s The Prom.

The film comes from Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, with an all-star cast equipped with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Keegan-Michael Key, with newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman in the lead role.


It hit the streaming platform last Friday, December 11, and has inspired division among fans and critics. However, Corden seems to be one unifying component of the film – nobody appears to like his role in it.

Check out the trailer for The Prom below:


The official synopsis reads: ‘A group of down-on-their-luck Broadway stars shake up a small Indiana town as they rally behind a teen who just wants to attend prom with her girlfriend.’


The Gavin and Stacey actor plays Barry Glickman, one of the Broadway stars. However, his performance has attracted controversy for ‘leaning into gay stereotypes’.

James Corden The PromNetflix

IndieWire’s Zack Sharf wrote on Twitter: ‘The Prom shouts about tolerance but has James Corden leaning into effeminate gay stereotypes every chance he gets. Someone make it make sense?’

AwardsWatch’s Erik Anderson also tweeted: ‘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.’


Variety’s Matt Donnelly wrote: ‘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?’

However, in a recent interview with Metro, the 42-year-old said he was proud of his performance and even sought guidance from the director, who’s gay.

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Corden explained: ‘[As an actor] you spend quite a long time, just personally, feeling like you might be able to have a bit more to give. 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.’

The Prom James CordenNetflix

He continued: 

And then you go: ‘Oh God, what if I am not able to do these things?’ Ryan, 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.

He added: ‘The whole time I was thinking about the friends of mine, young friends of mine whose families don’t know that they’re out, friends of mine who have distant relationships with their families, because of their sexuality and really hope that many people would realize that however hard it is to address or confront those things, their acceptance is everything.’


The Prom is available to stream on Netflix now. 

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Film, James Corden, LGBTQ+, Netflix, Ryan Murphy


  1. Metro

    James Corden ‘very proud’ of scenes in Netflix’s musical The Prom amid ‘gay stereotypes’ backlash