By Andrea Park CBS News August 13, 2018, 4:30 PM Disney slammed after reportedly casting Jack Whitehall as gay character in "Jungle Cruise"

Jack Whitehall seen Oct. 9, 2017, in London.


Disney has reportedly cast its first openly gay character, but many LGBT fans are crying foul. After sources told The Sun that straight actor Jack Whitehall was cast as a "hugely effete, very camp and very funny" gay man in the live-action film, LGBT actors and others voiced their frustration on social media.

Twitter users criticized Disney for overlooking gay actors to play the role. The outcry comes a month after Scarlett Johansson dropped out of "Rub & Tug" after the actress was criticized for taking on a role as a transgender man.

Actor Omar Sharif Jr. said that Disney was allowing a straight man to perpetuate stereotypes about gay people.

Really @Disney #JungleCruise ? Your first significant gay role will be played by a straight white man perpetuating stereotypes? Fail! This ship should sink.

— Omar Sharif Jr. (@OmarSharifJr) August 13, 2018

Actor Chris Salvatore sarcastically said it must be hard to find gay actors to play gay characters.

Such a dam shame it’s so hard to find gay actors to play gay roles in hollywood 🙄. Do better @disney @jackwhitehall

— Chris Salvatore (@CSalvatore) August 12, 2018

Gay TV presenter James Barr said it was "frustrating" to see a straight person take a gay role when his gay actor friends get turned down for straight roles.

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 to cast NonGay people in gay roles

— James Barr 🏳️‍🌈 (@imjamesbarr) August 13, 2018

One Twitter user said the description of the gay character sounded dated.

It just sounds like a very 1993 description of a gay character. It's just missing "flamboyant" or "eccentric"

— mat whitehead (@matwhi) August 12, 2018

Neither Whitehall nor Disney has confirmed that he is a cast member, though Whitehall has retweeted both tweets from the official "Jungle Cruise" account. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt are confirmed to star in the film. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Emily Blunt and Dwayne @TheRock Johnson welcome you to Disney’s @JungleCruise!

— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) July 31, 2018

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