Colman, who stars in the queer Netflix series, revealed that she is “not proud” of series fans who “bullied” co-star Kit Connor into coming out as bisexual after accusing the series of queerbaiting.
“I am so proud of him, but I am not proud of how people bullied him,” the Oscar winner told Variety.
Connor plays a rugby player who begins to question his sexuality after befriending gay classmate Charlie (Joe Locke). Connor publicly came out in October 2022.
“I think people should be allowed to have their own journey,” Colman continued of her co-star. “But I’m incredibly proud of him as a young man to deal with all of that and be in the spotlight. It’s unfair. But he’s amazing. He’s a very beautiful human being.”
Connor tweeted at the time in a since-deleted post, “Back for a minute. I’m bi. Congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself. I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye.”
“Heartstopper” series creator Alice Oseman responded, stating via The Independent, “I truly don’t understand how people can watch ‘Heartstopper’ and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes. I hope all those people are embarrassed as fuck. Kit, you are amazing.”
The concept of queer actors playing queer characters has been recently debated, with Zachary Quinto encouraging more out gay actors to be cast in straight character roles. “The Inspection” star Raúl Castillo, who identifies as a cisgender straight man, told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn during a SAG-AFTRA conversation that the “conversation almost 10 years ago was very different,” when he first played a queer character in the series “Looking.”
In “The Inspection,” Castillo plays a Marine Corps officer discovering a new side of his sexuality amid the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.
Castillo said of “The Inspection” press tour, “[Writer-director] Elegance [Bratton] called me after the media training, and he was like, ‘Listen, you don’t owe anyone an answer of like, “This guy is straight.” And I appreciated him relieving me of that because I was cognizant in recent years of not wanting to take up space as a cis straight man. But I appreciated Elegance sort of relieving me of any pressure to get any sort of definitive answer about the character.”