Shipwrecked

Straight actor gets cast as Disney’s first openly gay role. Twitter explodes.

jack whitehall disney gay

It was announced over the weekend that British actor Jack Whitehall will by playing Disney’s first openly gay character in the forthcoming action film, The Jungle Cruise. The film, based on a Disney Parks attraction of the same name, will also star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt.

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.”

They added, “This latest script, set at a time when it wasn’t socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point.”

However, not everybody is happy about the casting of a straight actor in a gay role. Many took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the casting decision.

Nole Ksum writes, “If you’re one of the people who ‘doesn’t see the big deal’ RE Jack Whitehall, a straight white male cast as the first openly gay Disney character then you’re part of the problem.”

Callum Jackson adds, “How is a straight actor playing a “hugely effete, very camp,” secondary gay character helpful for #LGBT visibility and positive portrayal in the arts? Booooo.”

“Super excited about this huge moment for the LGBTQ+ family, and @jackwhitehall is amazing,” says James Barr. “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.”

The controversy over Whitehall’s casting is taking place right after Scarlett Johannson came under fire for accepting a role as transgender mobster Dante Tex Gill. Johannson later backed out of the project, saying, “I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”

Here are some more responses to Whitehall’s casting and the subsequent outrage: