Disney has cast its first openly gay character in the upcoming movie, Jungle Cruise.
But the casting has been subject to controversy, with many saying that an LBGT actor should have been cast in the role instead of Jack Whitehall.
In a new interview with TimesOut London, Elba commented on the matter.
“Artistic license is artistic license. 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,” he continued. “Though you do have to be Black to play a Black character.”
Did I miss the part of this story where Idris Elba came out as gay and can therefore speak to experience on this and how gay actors repeatedly get passed over for roles, or…? https://t.co/VL9VcSx8ON via @gaystarnews
— Brian Gray (aka ürb) (@urbanbohemian) August 28, 2018
Here’s the thing about Idris Elba saying Whitehall as a landmark gay doesn’t matter. If Bond is played by a black actor a door opens, which we imagine he approves of. While saying cast the best guy cos ‘It’s acting’ he fails to see the commitment to act for change is the same.
— Danny Lee Wynter (@dannyleewynter) August 31, 2018
at some point the media and people should not pretend that one oppressed minority can speak for another
just like most gay white men don’t really know that much about the oppression of black gays, cis-het men like Idris Elba don’t get to pretend to be the expert on gay men
— Monjula Ray (@queerBengali) August 29, 2018
Although I do agree that straight actors should be able to play LGB (not the T) characters. I don’t think we need straight actors to tell us it’s okay for them to play those roles.
— Takashi Shirogane (@HouseOfSense8) August 30, 2018
This comes as a firestorm on social media has erupted with many fans wanting Elba to step in the role of the new James Bond, while many racists are resisting that change if it happens because Elba is black.
What do you think of the matter? Comment below!