Bella Ramsey Addresses The Last of Us’ Homophobic Backlash

The Last of Us is often regarded as one of the most progressive video games ever made, and for the most part, HBO’s TV adaptation has been following suit. Unfortunately, the show’s depiction of gay characters and storylines is prompting the usual swarm of vitriol among certain members of its audience. Now, Ramsey has responded to The Last of Us‘ homophobic backlash in a new interview with GQ UK.

In addition to co-headlining The Last of Us as Ellie, Ransey also recently came out as gender fluid (using both she/her and they/them pronouns). So she has a personal reason to be upset about online trolls attacking the show over simply acknowledging the LGBT community. The invective has been so widespread that it even led some viewers to review-bomb its critically lauded third episode—which chronicled the 20-year love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Barlett)—on websites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

Regardless, anyone who has played the original game knows how silly this is, because Ellie herself is a gay character. She is also expected to come out sometime later in the season, most likely in episode 7, whose title “Left Behind” shares its name with the DLC expansion that confirmed Ellie’s sexual orientation in 2014. With season 2 expected to adapt the second game in the series, The Last of Us Part II, we can presumably anticipate the live-action debut of Ellie’s love interest, Dina. And it sounds like Ramsey is looking forward to her introduction.

“There are a few bits with Ellie on her own, probably,” said Ramsey. “But I like the fact that she also has [Dina] now.”

The Last of Us Part II was also notable for introducing another character, Lev, who gets exiled from his religious community for being transgender. As far as Ramsey is concerned, it isn’t the show’s fault if “fans” can’t accept that.

“I’m not particularly anxious about it,” added Ramsey. “I know people will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you. And you’re missing out. It isn’t gonna make me afraid. I think that comes from a place of defiance.”

The next episode of The Last of Us premieres this Sunday, February 19 on HBO.

Are you happy with Ramsey’s response? Let us know in the comment section below!

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