Disney's 'Jungle Cruise' Movie Coming Out Scene with Gay Character ... But Avoids the Key Word

12/27/2018 12:50 AM PST

Disney's 'Jungle Cruise' Has Coming Out Scene with Openly Gay Character

EXCLUSIVE

Disney is making strides by introducing its first openly gay character in the upcoming "Jungle Cruise" movie, which will feature a big coming out scene ... but there's one important step that's missing.

A test screening of the film took place last week -- it'll get a wide release in 2020 -- and sources who attended tell TMZ Disney avoids using the word "gay" when Jack Whitehall's character, McGregor, comes out to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

We're told, at one point, McGregor has a heart-to-heart with The Rock's lead character, Frank, about dating history ... and McGregor makes it very clear he isn't into ladies. Keep in mind, this flick isn't set in modern times. 

McGregor explains to "Frank" his family had tried arranging marriages for him with several women, but he didn't wanna marry any of them -- or any woman, for that matter. He also says Emily Blunt's character, Lily (his sister in the movie), was the only one in his fam to accept him and support him regardless of the "person" he loves.

We're told the scene was well-received by the audience, but the glaring omission of a pronoun to describe McGregor's love interest did not go unnoticed. 

Unclear if the scene will make the final cut -- but ya gotta imagine it will, given how significant a move it is for Disney to include a gay character in an action blockbuster. 

There was already backlash from the LGBTQ community over Whitehall's casting earlier this summer -- he's a straight guy playing a gay character -- and now, it's obvious Disney's watching its step even closer as it tiptoes into the 21st Century.

One small step for gay representation ... but still plenty to go.