Nick Offerman fired back on social media against people attacking The Last Of Us for showing a gay couple on screen.
It’s the year 2023, and yet to certain segments of the population showing a gay couple in media is still an excuse to spread hate. The third episode of HBO’s The Last of Us expanded upon a pair of the game’s side characters by showing their relationship in the dystopian future. Nick Offerman played Bill opposite Murray Bartlett as Frank, a gay couple, which took the Parks and Recreation star to social media in defense of the most popular show on the planet.
Nick Offerman’s response to an individual with a response that is simple and elegant, resulting in the individual behind the original comment deleting his account. Other fans of The Last of Us continually responded to the few comments deriding the series for “pushing an agenda” by pointing out the characters were a couple in the video game. Oddly, those protesting the show on social media are wondering why they can’t express free speech while also attacking the show’s creative choices.
Instead, detractors are review-bombing the episode on different sites, including IMDB, where the episode “Long, Long Time” is currently the lowest rated of the series. With a cumulative score of 7.9, Nick Offerman can rest easy knowing that those still bothering to review-bomb online are vastly outnumbered by everyone else. From those that praise the episode for its representation, to fans that thought it was a beautiful episode but ultimately meaningless as a side story, the vast majority of discourse has been constructive.
Fans mentioning that even if the episode was about a heterosexual couple it would have still been a waste of time have a valid point. The episode did not feature Pedro Pascal’s Joe or Bella Ramsey’s Ellie and did very little to advance the overall plot. Yet at the same time, the wide consensus is that Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett turned in an amazing acting performance.
As Nick Offerman mentions, LGBT depictions in media still draw hatred from people that will claim in public, they wish gay people would die. In reality, there’s going to be shows and movies that show relationships, points of view, or beliefs of all types and each person can pick and choose what they consume. In the case of The Last of Us, more people have watched each episode than the one that aired before.
No HBO show has managed this feat before, not even Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon, but The Last of Us just keeps growing like a fungus. Mature depictions of gay couples that fit within the world and story are, according to the numbers, acceptable to the vast majority of the viewing audience. A minority is going after Nick Offerman and the other actors, which in the case of those claiming “Long, Long Time” went against the spirit of the game, is incredibly ironic.
The Last of Us made waves when its sequel featured Ellie’s female love interest. Again, the source material supports Nick Offerman’s stance that the outrage expressed online is misplaced. Accusing the show of placing an agenda now, as opposed to when it was even first announced, shows that more people need to play Naughty Dog’s stellar games.
Though Nick Offerman won’t be in future episodes, which is another valid point of criticism that can be leveled against Naughty Dog, The Last of Us will keep rolling. Episode five, airing this Friday, will debut a few day early so it doesn’t compete with the Kansas City Chiefs winning another Super Bowl.