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Source: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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

By Erica Diaz

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.