As Disney keeps churning out live action movies based on rides and old animated films, they continually try to reassure audiences of their commitment to including LGBT characters. It’s hard to tell if they mean what they say because they are masters of onscreen ambiguity.
Their latest appropriated project is “The Jungle Cruise,” inspired by one of the original rides at Disneyland in Anaheim, Ca.
Once again the studio says they have included a gay character and at a recent test screening audiences confirmed that there was, but there was still something missing.
Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Frank, the film has also stars Jack Whitehall as McGregor who comes out in a pivotal scene. But through clever script writing the word “gay” is never used.
Audiences say the scene is a heartfelt one, and McGregor admits he isn’t into ladies. He tells Frank his family has tried for years to set him up with girls, but he wasn’t interested in any of them. The film is not set in modern times. Emily Blunt plays McGregor’s understanding sister who accepts him for who he is.
According to TMZ, the audience that watched the film approved of the scene, but they did notice the pronoun to describe McGregor’s love interest was missing.
There is still some time to tweak the picture ahead of its summer 2020 release date and it’s not guaranteed the scene will even make the cut, but given Disney’s penchant for having their gay audiences hunt for gay characters primed with media hype, it seems likely they will do the same here.
The movie already has LGBT advocates attention, casting the straight Whitehall in the gay role.
Maybe this will finally be the movie where Disney and one of its characters opens the closet door more than just a sliver.