People are outraged Jack Whitehall is playing Disney's first openly gay character in 'Jungle Cruise'

Jungle Cruise, the upcoming blockbuster starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, will reportedly feature Disney’s first openly gay character. While that’s progress for sure, there is some criticism over the casting of the role.

On Sunday, a report in the U.K. tabloid The Sun said that the role British comedian and actor Jack Whitehall, 30, is playing in the upcoming blockbuster, based on Disneyland’s theme park ride and set in the 19th century, is “a gay man — one who is hugely effete, very camp, and very funny,” according to a source. “This latest script, set at a time when it wasn’t socially acceptable to be gay, is another significant turning point.”

And while it’s definitely a turning point, there’s online criticism over casting an actor in the role who isn’t gay.

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Jack Whitehall out and about
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Jack Whitehall attends the Brits Awards 2018 After Party hosted by Warner Music Group, Ciroc and British GQ at Freemasons Hall on February 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Warner Music Group)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: *** EDITORIAL USE ONLY IN RELATION TO THE BRIT AWARDS 2018 *** Jack Whitehall attends The BRIT Awards 2018 held at The O2 Arena on February 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Jack Whitehall attends the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics London game at The O2 Arena on January 11, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for NBA London)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Jack Whitehall attends the press night after party for the Donmar's production of 'Belleville' at The Hospital Club on December 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Jack Whitehall (left) in the crowd during the NBA London Game 2018 at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Jack Whitehall on stage during The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Jack Whitehall attends the World Aids Day Charity Gala aimed at using football to educate and inspire vulnerable young people in developing countries at 8 Northumberland Avenue on December 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Jack Whitehall poses for the camera as the PCA Host 'An Evening with Freddie Flintoff and Friends' at The Roundhouse on November 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 7: Novak Djokovic, Jack Whitehall, and Rainn Wilson chat with James Corden during 'The Late Late Show with James Corden,' Tuesday, November 7, 2017 (12:35 PM-1:37 AM ET/PT) On The CBS Television Network. (Photo by Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 27: Actor Jack Whitehall attends the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 27: Actor Jack Whitehall attends the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 27: Piers Morgan (L) and host Jack Whitehall at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards Presented by American Airlines And Jaguar Land Rover at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)
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Though many then wondered whether an actor’s sexuality should matter when it comes to casting a role.

More than one person pointed to the backlash over Scarlett Johansson playing a transgender character in the film Rub and Tug. She eventually pulled out.

And some connected it to the debate over whether Idris Elba, who is black, should be cast as James Bond.

While this is going on, Whitehall is settling into life on the set of a movie that, for better or worse, is making him a household name. He shared a video of The Rock on set and wrote that it is an honor to be part of the “epic adventure.” The self-professed “Disney nerd” said he’s having “the time of my life.”

In 2017, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast featured what was considered the first “gay moment” in a Disney film when the character LeFou, played by Josh Gad, displayed “confused” feelings for leading man Gaston. However, it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit. This news comes just days after openly gay actress Ruby Rose made headlines for being cast as lesbian superhero Batwoman for The CW. That hasn’t been without drama either. She deleted her Twitter account over the weekend over cruel remarks.

Reps for Whitehall and Disney have not yet responded to request for comment.

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