Storm Reid: ‘The Last of Us’ Queer Backlash Is ‘Nonsense’

Storm Reid is hoping it’s the last time audiences critique queer storylines onscreen.

The “Last of Us” star addressed the latest episode in which her character Riley kisses best friend Ellie (Bella Ramsey).

“I’m sure people are going to have things to say on Sunday, but I don’t care because I’m proud of what we did,” Reid told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the episode airing. “I’m proud of the story that we told and I’m proud of the people that we’re representing.”

She continued, “It’s 2023. If you’re concerned about who I love, then I need you to get your priorities straight. There’s so many other things to worry about in life. Why are you concerned that these young people — or anybody — love each other? Love is beautiful, and the fact that people have things to say about it, it’s just nonsense.”

Reid added, “We are telling important stories. We’re telling stories of people’s experiences, and that’s what I live for. That’s what makes good storytelling, because we are telling stories of people who are taking up space in the world. I’m not only representing women. I’m representing young Black women and I’m representing young queer women that are experiencing new feelings and new relationships.”

The “Missing” actress addressed the “complexity” of character Riley’s relationship with Ellie, saying, “We are on the tightrope of a friendship and having a crush, or is it a crush? Is it just flirtatious energy? There’s just so much that goes into the complexity of what the episode is. And furthermore, the complexity of what Ellie and Riley’s relationship is I find just so beautiful.”

Co-star Ramsey previously spoke out about the famed third episode titled “Long, Long Time” with Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman playing a gay couple. Conservative critics like Ben Shapiro complained the episode was a “Brokeback Mountain” type of story without zombies.

Lead star Ramsey, who identifies as transgender in real life, told GQ UK, “I know people will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you, and you’re missing out.”

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