Disney have finally recognized the LGBTQ community and have included an openly gay character in their upcoming movie, Jungle Cruise. (As you might remember, Josh Gad’s LaFou from the live action Beauty and the Beast was the first, but that character was closeted). However, popular British actor, Jack Whitehall, a straight actor, has been cast for the role, causing outrage from fans who were unsure why a gay actor wasn’t cast in the role.
Outrage from fans across social media has been sparked due to this, as although Disney have taken a step forward by recognizing that there are other sexual orientations than straight, they have also taken a million steps back by casting a straight male to do so. There are barely any gay actors in Hollywood, and casting someone of this sexuality could mean a historic move in the entertainment industry.
The upcoming movie, Jungle Cruise, will feature A-list celebrities such as, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt, with Jack Whitehall cast as Blunt’s brother, playing the role of ‘a very funny, very camp, gay man.’ The movie is based off the media franchise’s most popular theme park ride, which is set in the middle of a jungle filled with scary animals, when something magical happens and the ride casts you, in a small riverboat, into a new world.
However, when Whitehall posted a teaser to the movie on his Instagram, which featured ‘The Rock’ talking about the film and giving a bit of history about the ride and the inspiration for the movie, many people were disgusted and disappointed at how Disney have only pretended to care about spreading their support for this community and have basically used the LGBTQ community to gain profit, whilst also failing to bring light to gay actors and actresses who have been struggling to gain roles in Hollywood for years due to them being gay.
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
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 ????????♀️
— Clí ???????? ???????? (@ClionaLou) August 13, 2018
— Callum Jackson (@cjjackson93) August 13, 2018
However, some people didn’t see the issue with Whitehall being casted for the role and stated that his sexuality shouldn’t stop him from getting the part, as playing a character that is different than who he is, is the point of acting.
Shock as actor is asked to play someone different from themselves. Isn’t that kind of the point? Wouldn’t always casting gay actors in gay roles be condemned for typecasting? https://t.co/tfni2m3B1P
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) August 13, 2018
Personally, we feel that if Disney are so invested in the LGBTQ community and want to actually raise awareness and support for those included, then they should be casting an actor who is openly gay. If they did this, not only are they giving an actor who has been waiting for their whole career to get their big break in Hollywood a chance, they are also showing that it doesn’t matter what your sexuality is, you’re still able to get a big role in a high-budget movie, without being white and straight. Take DC for example, who have cast the gender-fluid, Ruby Rose, as their new leading part. Now that’s a step in the right direction. Do better, Disney.
What do you guys think of Disney casting Jack Whitehall? Do you think it’s an issue, or not a problem at all? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.