WXXI AM News

Connections: Discussing LGBTQ representation in television and film

Aug 15, 2018

Disney recently announced that its new film, "Jungle Cruise," will feature the company's first openly gay character. The role will be played by Jack Whitehall, a British comedian who is straight. The casting decision has led to backlash by some members of the LGBTQ community, who say Disney should have cast a gay actor, and that the decision to hire Whitehall will promote stereotypes of gay men. However, there's pushback against the pushback. Other members of the LGBTQ community say actors are actors and should be able to play any role, regardless of their sexuality off screen. They also say that if a gay man had been chosen for the role, he would have been typecast.

The news is just one of a number of recent stories about LGBTQ representation in film and media. Research shows there were fewer LGBTQ characters on screen last year than in previous years.

Our guests discuss the debate over Disney's and other casting decisions, and how they think production companies can be more inclusive in their storytelling. In studio:

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