Jack Whitehall will play Disney's first openly gay character

Jack Whitehall

Disney's decision to cast Jack Whitehall, a straight man, as its first openly gay character in its new film has been attacked online.

The 30-year-old actor will star alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, 46, and 35-year-old star Emily Blunt in the family adventure movie - based on the popular theme park attraction of the same name.

MTV presenter and comedian James Barr said "Jack Whitehall is amazing" and called the move a "huge moment for the LGBTQ+ community" but labelled it "frustrating to cast NonGay people in gay roles". Instead, the problem lies with gay men constantly being overlooked for roles, and when a role meant for a gay person comes around - albeit one that seems to play to harmful stereotypes-it goes to a straight man.

He later qualified his comment saying: "For the record, I think Jack Whitehall will do a terrific job.MY POINT: For a global company that speaks primarily to youth, Disney had an opportunity to give queer kids an authentic reflection of themselves to see on TV and a role model to look up to in real life".

But others are warning about the dangers of calling for gay roles to only be played by gay actors, since it can lead to typecasting. "Fail! This ship should sink".

Disney nor Whitehall have confirmed that his character is gay.

The Australian describes herself as "gender fluid" and some suggested a lesbian actor should play the character.

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

Others were upset as Jack is still a relative unknown in Hollywood, or compared the situation to the recent controversy that caused Scarlett Johansson to quit her role as a trans man in Rub & Tug.

A few people on social media have complained about a straight man playing a gay role.

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