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Jack Whitehall To Play A Gay Man In Upcoming Disney Film "The Jungle Cruise"

British Comedian Jack Whitehall will be playing an openly gay character in the upcoming Disney film The Jungle Cruise.

Whitehall will be co-starring with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt.

While Variety broke the news that Whitehall would join the film as Blunt's brother back in March, some information about his character is now making the rounds.

The Sun was the one to break this new story and claim that a source of theirs gave them the info.

As the source said:

“This is a huge gig for Jack and has landed him his biggest ever pay cheque.

“But, more excitingly, he is playing a gay man - one who is hugely effete, very camp and very funny.

"It’s a dream role.

“Disney’s always been incredibly supportive of the LGBTQ community.”

"This latest script, set at a time when it wasn’t socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point.”

The source also shares that the character will expressively state that he has no interest in women.

While this might seem exciting at a first glance, there is some room for worry. For instance, an effete person is typically thought of as “useless, ineffective, or pretentious.” This could mean that Whitehall’s character will be on the verge of being a stereotype or problematic at the least.

While many news sources are reporting outrage at Whitehall, a straight man, being cast in a gay role, its the above stated description of the character that's the real problem.

Plus, LGBTQ fans have gotten used to hearing news that LGTBQ characters will appear in films/tv series, showing up/paying to watch, and then being rewarded with killed off characters, comedic relief, and barely visible representation.

This is all to say that we are skeptical at the moment, but we're at least happy to be aware of this new development.

In addition, the movie is currently filming and not set to release until next year. That said, lead star Dwayne Johnson released a first look at the film, sans Whitehall. You can watch it below.

h/t: Variety, The Sun

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I'm not all that bothered by a comedian's playing a (possibly) gay role; lots of gay men play straight roles. And Whitehall is hilarious. So let's be careful about who is qualified to act in what kind of role lest we fall into the trap of debating whether a gender-fluid person is lesbian enough to play batwoman, not that THAT would ever happen.

What concerns me more is that the role might entail a rehashing of tired old tropes and stereotypes of gay men as effete, etc. etc.  Yeah, I have known quite a few "effete" gay men and, candidly, most of them are nice people who, when the chips are down, come through. But couldn't we try for a little diversity in how gay men get represented in these movies?

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