Jack Whitehall Cast As The First Openly Gay Major Disney Character, Igniting A Heated Debate

Disney has found itself at the center of yet another maelstrom about representation and casting. Last year the company angered fans by writing a role into the live-action version of Aladdin and then casting a very not-middle-eastern actor to play it. Some fans accused them of specifically writing the role so that they could “whiten” the cast. 

Their new film Jungle Cruise is seeing some representation-based controversy now that casting has been announced. Initially, people were excited that the film would feature an openly gay major character. The character is described as “hugely effete, very camp, and very funny.” Disney announced that that British actor and comedian Jack Whitehall has been cast in the role — and people are pretty torn about it. Yes, he’s talented (though relatively unknown outside of the UK) but he’s straight.  

Some people feel like Disney giving such an important LGBT role to a straight actor is insulting,  particularly as the role is written like a mashup of gay stereotypes. 

Others feel like the debate is pointless. It’s acting, after all. 

Then there are the people who aren’t really sure how to feel about the casting, particularly when you take into account that Jack’s personality is pretty much the character’s description.

We want to hear your thoughts on the matter. Representation obviously matters, but if Jack Whitehall is already so much like the character is it still offensive? Is it even acting at that point? Sound off! 

H/T: Twitter, Wikipedia, Insider