Love, Victor star Michael Cimino has revealed he received shocking death threats for his portrayal of a gay teen on Hulu show. The actor, 21, identifies as heterosexual and was cast as Victor, a gay teen in the series which is a spin-off from the book and film Love, Simon.
"I’ve definitely had some criticism from the LGBT community for being in the role. I’ve had death threats, which is horrible," revealed Michael.
"But the show is important to me. The messages of hate - I came into it knowing that would happen, regardless of how good I was. But there are some straight actors who play gay characters, who are all about supporting LGBT rights while they’re promoting their project, but once they’re done, a year later, it’s kind of forgotten. That’s not how [to] be an ally, that’s not how you support LGBT rights."
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Love, Victor season two trailer
Speaking to Attitude magazine, he added: "If you’re not an actual ally, then what are you doing? It’s an honour to play Victor, and a big responsibility. I went in with the pure intent to represent that correctly. I held myself to a really high standard to make sure everyone going through this story felt represented by the show."
While some fans of the show acknowleged that it was a shame an LGBTQ actor hadn't been hired, they were quick to support Michael, with one writing on Twitter: "That’s horrible, no one deserves death threats."
"He doesn't deserve this," added another.
Season two follows his romance with Benji
The show's second season dropped on the streaming service on 11 June, and followed Victor as he embarked on a romance with friend Benji (played by British actor George Sear) after coming out as gay to his parents.
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The arc saw his mom struggle to accept her son's sexuality, turning to her church for support and advice, while his father joined PFLAG, an organization available in the real world for parents, families, and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender in their life.
He came out to his parents at the end of season one
Victor's relationship with Benji, meanwhile, was tested by his parents' reaction - and the introduction of new school friend Rahim, who Victor bonds with over shared experience.
Love, Victor is available on Hulu now.
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