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Nick Offerman Slams ‘Homophobic Hate’ Against His ‘The Last of Us’ Episode: ‘It’s Not a Gay Story. It’s a Love Story, You A–hole!’

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Nick Offerman won the prize for best supporting performance in a new scripted series at the 2024 Independent Spirit Awards thanks to his role as the survivalist Bill in HBO’s “The Last of Us.” During his acceptance speech, Offerman took aim at some of the show’s toxic fans who spammed him with homophobic comments after his episode, “Long, Long Time,” first aired due to it centering a gay love story.

“Thank you so much. I’m astonished to be in this category, which is bananas,” Offerman said when he took the stage. “Thanks to HBO for having the guts to participate in this storytelling tradition that is truly independent. Stories with guts that when homophobic hate comes my way and says, ‘Why did you have to make it a gay story?’ We say, ‘Because you ask questions like that. It’s not a gay story it’s a love story, you asshole!”

Offerman’s comment earned a huge applause from the Spirit Awards audience. His performance as Bill in “The Last of Us” also earned him an Emmy Award for best guest actor in a drama series earlier this year.

Offerman starred opposite Murray Bartlett in the episode “Long, Long Time,” which took a break from the main storyline of “The Last of Us” to spotlight the love story over 20 years between two men as the world descends into chaos around them amid an escalating zombie virus. The episode earned near universal acclaim from critics, but that didn’t stop homophobic trolls from taking issue with the show for spotlighting a gay romance.

“The Last of Us” has begun production on Season 2 with series stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. It’s not likely that either Offerman or Bartlett will return, although never say never. New cast members for Season 2 include Isabela Merced as Dina, Young Mazino as Jesse and Kaitlyn Dever as Abby. Comedy icon and “Schitt’s Creek” Emmy winner Catherine O’Hara is also joining the series.

The first season of “The Last of Us” is now available to stream on Max.