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Nick Offerman Responds To Homophobic Hate Against Last Of Us: ‘It’s Not A Gay Story, It’s A Love Story’

He explained the story is about love, facing criticism bravely.

At the Independent Spirit Awards held on February 25, actor Nick Offerman confronted the homophobic criticism directed at his performance in the HBO series ‘The Last of Us,’ saying it’s a ‘love’ story.

The backlash was against the episode titled ‘Long, Long Time,’ which featured a love story between Offerman’s character, Bill, and Frank, played by Murray Bartlett. This episode sparked discussions over the past year, but Offerman’s response was clear and unapologetic. His acceptance speech was as follows:

“Thank you so much, Film Independent. I’m astonished to be in this category, which is bananas. Thanks to HBO for having the guts to participate in this storytelling tradition that is truly independent. Stories with guts that when homophobic hate comes my way and says, ‘Why did you have to make it a gay story?’ We say, ‘Because you ask questions like that.’ It’s not a gay story, it’s a love story, you a**hole.”

Offerman’s remarks came as he accepted the award for Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series. His performance also earned him an Emmy.

You can watch Offerman’s acceptance speech below.

Storm Reid’s Take Was The Same

Storm Reid, who plays Riley in another episode that explores queer themes, echoed Offerman’s sentiment last year. Reid’s message to critics was straightforward:

“It’s 2023. If you’re concerned about who I love, then I need you to get your priorities straight. There are so many other things to worry about in life. Why are you concerned that these young people — or anybody — love each other? Love is beautiful, and the fact that people have things to say about it, it’s just nonsense.”

‘The Last of Us’ Controversy

The Last of Us‘ has received critical acclaim since its premiere on January 15, 2023. The show has been praised for its storytelling, performances, and production, winning eight Primetime Emmy Awards from 24 nominations and drawing in millions of viewers.

Despite its success, the series has not been without controversy. The depiction of a gay relationship in the ‘Long, Long Time’ episode led to homophobic backlash and review-bombing, particularly on aggregation sites like Metacritic.

‘The Last of Us’ continues filming its second season in Vancouver, with Pedro Pascal noting the ‘amazing’ progress and dedication involved. The season is set to premiere next year.

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