And while it's great to see that Disney is finally beginning to openly welcome LGBTQ+ characters into their films, fans are a bit disappointed that Whitehall, a straight man, is the one selected to play an openly gay character that appears to play very firmly within the bounds of harmful stereotypes against gay men.
While the report should be taken with a huge grain of salt, The Sun claims Whitehall's character will be historic as he will play Disney's first major out gay character.
A few people on social media have complained about a straight man playing a gay role.
Some of the responses to the announcement can be read below, and they're just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the online backlash.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chris Salvatore, an actor and singer, wrote: "Such a damn shame it's so hard to find gay actors to play gay roles in Hollywood". "Fail! This ship should sink".
"It's that there are so many gay actors that are under represented in all sorts of roles across the board. and so I think that this is, fantastic, but also a bit sad".
However, others argued that actors playing characters different to themselves was nothing new.
Critics are now asking why a gay actor was not picked for the part. Beauty and the Beast's Le Fou, played by Josh Gadd, apparently struggles with his attraction to Gaston, although his sexuality is never confirmed.
The criticism came as actress Ruby Rose deleted her Twitter profile amid a backlash over her casting as Batwoman, the first openly-lesbian superhero protagonist.