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'It’s a love story, you a**hole': Actor Nick Offerman praises gay storyline in 'Last of Us' show over 'homophobic hate'
Image via Film Independent / YouTube (screenshot)

'It’s a love story, you a**hole': Actor Nick Offerman praises gay storyline in 'Last of Us' show over 'homophobic hate'

Popular actor Nick Offerman praised his "Last of Us" show's gay storyline during an award acceptance speech, saying that he had been subject to "homophobic hate" for his role on the program.

Offerman, who gained notoriety from the show "Parks and Recreation," was accepting an award for best supporting performance in a new scripted series at the 2024 Independent Spirit Awards when he made the remarks.

Offerman has played the character Bill in the post-apocalyptic zombie show, a gay survivalist. The side character received an episode focused on his gay relationship, despite it being of relatively minimal focus in the video game the show is derived from.

"Thanks to HBO for having the guts to participate in this storytelling tradition that is truly independent," Offerman's speech began. "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 asshole!” he added.

The actor also claimed that he has received homophobic hate for his role in 2023, and responded similarly to what appeared to be a religious statement, in a since-deleted post on X.

"Buddy, your brand of ignorance and hate is exactly why we make stories like this," the 53-year-old replied.

Game writer Neil Druckmann had previously stated that Offerman's character was left vague in terms of his sexuality until the voice actor took it in a specifically gay direction.

"We have a character who's gay, but it was the actor that made that decision," Druckmann told the International Business Times in 2013. "I left it vague on purpose so the actor could interpret it, and when we did the the table read, they were like, yeah, this character's gay, and we went in and changed some scenes to reflect that."

The game and show are focused on a young girl named Ellie who goes missing in the frightening zombie landscape. For the TV show, the character is played by Bella Ramsay, an actress who describes herself as "non-binary."

"This is what bothers me more than pronouns: being called a ‘young woman’ or a ‘powerful young woman’, ‘young lady,’ but I'm just not [that]," she told GQ in 2023.

While the magazine referred to her as "she," her IMDb page refers to the actress using "their" pronouns.

The actress also admitted to wearing a chest binder during filming, a garment that attempts to flatten breast tissue. Ramsay said it helped prevent feelings of gender dysphoria an alleged 90% of the time she wore it.

She also said it helped her get into character — despite the character being a woman — "which probably isn’t healthy, like please bind safely," she added.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.

@andrewsaystv →