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Straight British Actor to Play Disney's 1st Openly Gay Character in This Upcoming Film, Twitter Reacts

Monday Aug 13, 2018

A straight British actor has been cast to play Disney's first openly gay character in an upcoming movie. And of course, Twitter users have something to say about it.

Jack Whitehall took to social media this week to confirm he will star in the Disney movie "Jungle Cruise," inspired by the theme park ride with the same name. The film also stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt.

"I'm so honoured to be part of this epic adventure," Whitehall, 30, wrote on Instagram over the weekend. "Filming is underway and I am having the time of my life with my amazing co-stars. It's so cool to be part of something of this scale and also as possibly one of the biggest Disney nerds on the planet so exciting to be working on a project with this much history."

The caption was to a video the actor, who will also appear in Disney's "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" later this year, uploaded.

Though news of Whitehall's casting was reported in March, backlash ensued this week when the British tabloid The Sun revealed his character- the brother of Blunt's character - will be gay.

"This is a huge gig for Jack and has landed him his biggest ever pay cheque," a source told The Sun. "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," the source added. "This latest script, set at a time when it wasn't socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point."

A number of Twitter users took issue that a straight man is playing the role of Disney's first openly gay character. Some pointed to Scarlett Johansson being cast to play a trans person and later stepping down from the role after facing a backlash.

Not everyone is upset, however. Some people voiced their support for Whitehall and the out character.

Disney's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" made headlines last year when it was suggested that Josh Gad's LeFou would have a "gay moment," sparking ultra-conservatives to freak out.


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