Disney has long been one of the more gay-friendly, gay-attracting media companies in the country, but they are only now putting an openly-gay character in one of their movies for the first time. On the eve of such a milestone, one would think that America’s LGBT community would be thrilled with what’s on the horizon. Disney is going to take a chance with what is sure to be a multi-million dollar budget and put an openly-gay character in their upcoming movie, “The Jungle Cruise”? What could there possibly be to complain about?
Well, you can’t ask that question of the LGBT Mafia. Because the answer is always “something.”
The problem in this instance is that the studio cast Jack Whitehall, a British comedian, in the part. And while the LGBT community may have no problem with Whitehall, Brits, or comedians, they have a big problem with the fact that Whitehall is not gay in real life.
From the Evening Standard:
Whitehall is set to take the role of a “fun, effete” man who “makes clear he has no interest in women”, according to the Sun.
However, the announcement has left some fans unimpressed, with many questioning why a gay actor hadn’t been cast in the role.
One wrote: “See Look I’ve Got nought against @jackwhitehall and all, but come on Having a gay character is good but why not have an LGBT+ person play the role, they have and know the challenges from personal experience, it will be fun to know if any LGBT+ people were offered the role, Disney.” (sic)
Another commented: “If Disney really cared about supporting lgbt+ representation, they’d have found an lgbt+ actor for the role. I also GUARANTEE this person would’ve also been right for the role, if not better.
“Secondly, there are more lgbt+ actors out there than this small pool that Hollywood allows as token gestures, which is another highlight of discrimination.”
The backlash against Whitehall is part of a trend movie studios are facing regularly these days. Often, the protests come when movies cast white actors to play roles that were Asian or some other ethnicity in the source material. But this isn’t the first time the LGBT Mafia has gotten its dander up about this kind of thing. Earlier this summer, when it was announced that Scarlett Johannsen would play the role of a transgender man in a movie called “Rub & Tug,” the backlash was so ferocious that she felt it necessary to withdraw from the movie altogether.
Several days later it was reported that the movie, now lacking sufficient star power, might not get made at all.
We don’t imagine Disney’s “The Jungle Cruise” will depend on Jack Whitehall’s participation one way or the other, but it might benefit gay moviegoers to calm down, take a step back, and be thankful for what they’re getting. It could be a lot less.