Disney has recently announced casting of The Jungle Cruise, a new feature film based on the Disneyland ride. In addition to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt, the movie also features British actor and comedian, Jack Whitehall as the brother of Blunt's character.
New information about Whitehall's character reveals that he's in fact gay, the first major openly gay character in a Disney movie. A source told The Sun that his character is described as "hugely effete, very camp, and very funny." But seeing as Whitehall is a straight actor, this has raised an eyebrow or two for obvious reasons.
I know we are supposed to be happy about this but the second outreach to the LGBTQ community is another camp character played by a straight guy. Why must we always take our spoonful of sugar with a lemon? https://t.co/sUM012YbWg
— Daniel Franzese (@WhatsupDanny) August 12, 2018
It’s too bad there weren’t any out actors who are regularly called some euphemism for “too camp” by casting directors, studios, networks, executives etc. for literally any role who were available for this Disney “first.” https://t.co/LfCkpUvnRV
— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) August 12, 2018
How about an openly gay actor/comedian playing the first openly gay “very Camp” character in a Disney film. Baby steps I guess. FUCK BABY STEPS. THIS IS BULLSHIT. https://t.co/yZMq8y4CAl
— Mario Cantone (@macantone) August 12, 2018
— Chris Salvatore (@CSalvatore) August 12, 2018
When will Disney learn? First, they give us a breadcrumb of a gay moment between the villainous LeFou and Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, as if it doesn't perpetuate the idea that queer people are secondary, if not plain evil. Then they went as far to cut a scene in Thor: Ragnarok that confirmed Valkyrie’s bisexuality.
Now they're offering up a straight man's portrayal of gay character, being described as "effete" and "camp" as if it's some big win for gay inclusion. A bigger win might be casting an actual gay actor, or at least avoiding awful gay tropes. When will they learn?