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Idris Elba defends Jack Whitehall being cast as Disney’s first ever openly gay character

Whitehall is starring in the upcoming movie 'Jungle Cruise' alongside Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt

By Steve Brown

Idris Elba has defended Disney casting Jack Whitehall as the first openly gay character.

The British comedian is set to star alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt in the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie – which is based on the popular Disneyland ride – and it was revealed his character was to be gay.

Although this marks a big step forward for the movie company, Disney faced backlash by casting Whitehall – who identifies as straight – as the first ever openly gay character.

However, in an interview with TimeOut London, Elba defended the casting and said: “Artistic licence is artistic licence.

“If an actor has the attributes to do something, they should be able to do it.

“They’re acting. You don’t necessarily have to be gay to play a gay character. Though you do have to be black to play a black character.”

Jungle Cruise is reportedly set in the 19th Century when homosexuality was illegal, so it will be interesting to see how this character’s sexuality will be portrayed – fingers crossed for not using film ‘stereotypes’.