Finally – Disney is featuring its first openly gay character in a movie. However, it's actually causing some major controversy. British comedian Jack Whitehall has reportedly been cast in the upcoming 2019 film Jungle Cruise, and the fact that they're having a straight man take on this role isn't sitting well with people. While some see this decision as Disney supporting the LGBTQ community, others feel that having a straight man play the role isn't proper representation.
The movie is based on the Disney Parks attraction of the same name, and it stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt. It's about a boat captain who takes a sister and brother duo on an adventure into a jungle to find a magical tree with healing powers. Check out the teaser trailer below.
Jack is set to star as the gay brother of Emily's character, according to The Sun. The character is also reportedly described as "hugely effete, very camp, and very funny" – which has people worrying that it could come off stereotypical. Many took to Twitter to express their frustration with the decision.
It’s not that it’s a problem to cast a fantastic straight ally to play a gay role, it’s that there are so many gay actors that are under represented in all sorts of roles across the board... and so I think that this is, fantastic, but also a bit sad 😔 #JungleCruise— James Barr 🏳️🌈 (@imjamesbarr) August 13, 2018
While this might be Disney's first openly gay movie role, Disney Channel actually featured its first gay character in the series Andi Mack. The groundbreaking storyline featured Joshua Rush's character Cyrus coming out to his best friends.
Jungle Cruise has actually been in the works for quite some time, but it wasn't until Jack's casting when backlash struck. There hasn't been any comments from Disney or Jack about the specifics of this role, but it's safe to say people aren't too happy about this.