But none has quite the impact of Twitter user @Joshua Nasser, who clipped one key scene from the HBO vampire drama and shared it with the masses:
This is the most iconic scene from True Blood period. RIP Nelsan Ellis. pic.twitter.com/zaJxzfPDTV
— Joshua 🌙 (@JoshuaNasser) July 8, 2017
The scene features Lafayette confronting a trio of “rednecks” (the show’s word) over the fact that he was a gay man cooking their dinner; it does not lack for punches of the verbal or the physical kind.
And it also speaks to the sort of social commentary that “True Blood” never shrunk from, metaphorically or directly, during its seven season run. When the show premiered in 2008, HBO was a network struggling with diversity beyond “The Wire” (which ended that year).
From the very beginning of “True Blood,” Lafayette made a major impact on viewers as not just a gay black man, but a gay black man with confidence and authority. While he was never the star of the series, his commitment to the show never wavered and the writers gave him a number of storylines that pushed him beyond stereotype. As one commentator put it on Twitter:
Lafayette was frequently one of the best things about True Blood and Nelsan Ellis did a wonderful job. This hurts. https://t.co/AWOBjZfh5v
— Soraya N. McDonald (@SorayaMcDonald) July 8, 2017
Watch the scene above, and try to disagree. Ellis will be missed.