Jack Whitehall is set to play Disney’s first openly gay character in the upcoming film The Jungle Cruise, and the announcement of the character’s sexual orientation is already causing controversy on social media by people who believe Disney should have cast an openly gay man to play the role.
Whitehall was cast in the role last March but it had not emerged that the character was gay.
The controversy comes as openly gay actress Ruby Rose has been driven from social media for playing a lesbian superhero.
A source told The Sun: “This is a huge gig for Jack and has landed him his biggest ever pay cheque. But, more excitingly, he is playing a gay man – one who is hugely effete, very camp and very funny. It’s a dream role. Disney’s always been incredibly supportive of the LGBTQ community. This latest script, set at a time when it wasn’t socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point.”
The Jungle Cruise also stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
— Jungle Cruise (@JungleCruise) August 9, 2018
Many online are angry that a straight actor was cast in the role.
— Omar Sharif Jr. (@OmarSharifJr) August 13, 2018
— Chris Salvatore (@CSalvatore) August 12, 2018
I love jack Whitehall but like
Just have a gay actor please
— rhi✨ (@humbleopinionx) August 13, 2018
Super excited about this huge moment for the LGBTQ+ family, and @jackwhitehall is amazing https://t.co/FwH4d7BZqZ BUT when so many gay actor friends of mine are turned down for straight roles because there’s a “whiff of gay”, it’s frustrating to cast NonGay people in gay roles
— James Barr (@imjamesbarr) August 13, 2018
Scarlett Johansson walked so Jack Whitehall could run https://t.co/yhT2pKQ5Lk
— shauntay (@shauntae_stay) August 12, 2018
Yet other folks don’t understand why a straight man can’t play a gay character:
I don’t remember people launching into this ridiculous overreaction with Queer As Folk, Brokeback Mountain or Transamerica and their mainly heterosexual casts. If Henry Cavill was playing the role instead of Jack Whitehall, none of you would be saying the things you are.
— Nick Of The North (@PeripateNic) August 13, 2018
Honestly. If actors can’t play characters different from themselves, then what, precisely, is the point of being an actor?https://t.co/goOqmXpca9
— Matthew Thompson (@mattuthompson) August 13, 2018