After claiming that late-night comedian James Corden put on “gay face” for his role as a flamboyant gay man in Netflix’s “The Prom,” LGBTQ critics are now criticizing the Golden Globes for its nomination of Corden for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy.
“James Corden getting nominated as a straight guy playing a gay guy in a critically panned, vampish, stereotypical, borderline offensive portrayal that nearly wrecked the whole musical is proof that there’s no justice,” tweeted writer Steve Horton.
“I’d like to remind everyone that James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ won an Emmy over Beyoncé’s ‘Homecoming.’ Never forget, never forgive, ALWAYS pile-on,” tweeted Saeed Jones.
“JAMES CORDEN IN THE PROM!?! WHAT” tweeted Jake Wilson.
JAMES CORDEN IN THE PROM!?! WHAT
— Jake Wilson (@jakewil) February 3, 2021
“James Corden getting a Golden Globe nomination for his offensive and mediocre performance in The Prom… it’s giving Aluminum Globes,” tweeted Frank Costa.
“ur telling me james ‘doing a vague impression of a gay person circa 1990’ Corden was nominated for a golden globe for THAT?” tweeted Rachel Greenspan.
ur telling me james “doing a vague impression of a gay person circa 1990” corden was nominated for a golden globe for THAT?
— Rachel E. Greenspan (@rach_greenspan) February 3, 2021
“James Corden got nominated for acting that gay for like an hour. I’ve done it for three decades and have nothing to show for it but body dysmorphia and some Chromatica Oreos,” tweeted Ben Yahr.
James Corden got nominated for acting that gay for like an hour.
I’ve done it for three decades and have nothing to show for it but body dysmorphia and some Chromatica Oreos.
— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) February 3, 2021
Writing at Cinemablend, Corey Chichizola lamented that Corden’s nomination shows that Hollywood “has much more to learn” regarding LGBTQ representation.
“In the past few years there’s been an ongoing conversation about the importance of representation and inclusion. In this case, seeing James Corden put on a fake lisp and attempt to be more feminine when playing a gay men felt like it lacked the nuance of other perfomances [sic]. It felt icky. And those icky feelings are somewhat exacerbated by Corden’s performance being given one of the biggest honors in the film industry. It looks like Hollywood still has much more to learn,” wrote Chichizola.
The debate over whether or not non-members of the LGBTQ community should be allowed to play LGBTQ roles on screen has kicked into warp drive over the past few years, with celebrities offering differing opinions at every turn. Singer Elton John, for instance, believes that straight actors should be able to play gay characters in films.
“That’s all bulls***, I’m sorry,” John said in reference to the biopic about his life starring Taron Egerton. “If people don’t like it, review-wise, or it doesn’t make one dollar, it’s the movie I wanted to make and that’s all that counts. I can look back and say, ‘You know what, I love it. I can live with it.’”
Openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris, who played a heterosexual male on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” has also said that straight men should be allowed to play gay roles.
“I’m not one to jump on to labeling. As an actor you certainly hope you can be a visible option for all kinds of different roles,” Harris told The Times. “I played a character [in How I Met Your Mother] for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor.”