It’s been a long time coming, but Disney finally committed to unveiling it’s very first official gay character. Exciting times, right? Well, for some, not quite. The news hasn’t been as exciting for the lefties against whitewashing and all things cultural appropriation, because actor Jack Whitehall is not gay.
Disney’s upcoming film, Jungle Cruise, has been set to release next year and will star Hollywood powerhouse Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and A Quiet Place actress Emily Blunt. Set in the 19th century, the film is an action/adventure movie based on the Disneyland theme park ride.
The difference this time is that Disney has decided to embrace the LGBTQ community by including an explicitly gay major character, who “is hugely effete, very camp, and very funny.” A source who worked on the film claimed this to be a watershed moment for gays in Hollywood. “The latest script, set at time when it wasn’t socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point.”
For progressives online though, the announcement of straight actor Jack Whitehall embodying the role, has not been the turning point they’ve been fantasizing about. In fact many expressed their desire that the upcoming movie crash and burn.
Egyptian actor Omar Sharif Jr. and MTV personality James Barr led the social media outcry against this egregious example of problematic casting. Sharif Jr. tweeted, “Really @Disney #JungleCruise? Your first significant gay role will be played by a straight white man perpetuating stereotypes? Fail! This ship should sink.”
Barr was a little more hopeful about the reality of the gay character, yet still expressed some reticence to get on board because of the casting decision. He stated, “Super excited about this huge moment for the LGBTQ+ family, and @jackwhitehall is amazing. 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.”
He also added, “there are so many gay actors that are under represented across the board… and so I think that this is, fantastic, but also a bit sad.”
Gay actor Chris Salvatore lamented that it’s “Such a dam shame it’s so hard to find gay actors to play gay roles in Hollywood. Do better @Disney @jackwhitehall.” and another critic by the name of Hazza summed up the progressive anger, tweeting, “”Jack Whitehall playing gay for laughs is NOT the progress we need.”
On the flipside, those that defended Disney’s decision brought up the fact that this is what acting is all about. British parliament member Wes Streeting weighed in on the outrage, tweeting, “Shock as actor is asked to play someone different from themselves. Isn’t that kind of the point?” He also asked, “Wouldn’t always casting gay actors in gay roles be condemned for typecasting?”
One other user asked “Does this mean that criminals have to be played by criminals?”, and yet another tweeted that this complaint was “like complaining that Mike Myers isn’t really an ogre.”
And here I was thinking that Disney’s first official gay character was going to herald in the fairy-tale ending for inclusivity nuts, but I guess our society’s outrage and victimhood psychosis prevents anyone from enjoying anything anymore.