Hulu's Love, Simon, the spinoff of the feature Love, Victor, recently debuted Season 2 on Hulu, and fans are all abuzz about the new episodes. With it being Pride month, the release of the second season seemingly couldn’t have come at a better time. However, not everyone is so excited to see more from Victor and Benji, the series' central LGBTQ couple, and star Michael Cimino has opened up about how viewers have responded to his role, and some of those reactions are quite disturbing.
Appearing with his on-screen partner, George Sear, for an interview with Attitude Magazine, Michael Cimino revealed he's faced various forms of homophobia from those closest to him, and has also received death threats from some fans in the LGBTQ community. In his words:
I’ve definitely had some criticism from the LGBT community for being in the role… I’ve had death threats, which is horrible. 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.
Fans in the LGBTQ community can be very passionate about how they’re being portrayed on TV, which means they can be very critical as well. As such, both Michael Cimino and George Sear have earned negative remarks for being straight men playing high-profile gay roles. While death threats are never okay in any capacity, most actors are keenly aware that hateful messages are a price to be paid with just about any role an actor can take on. There are certainly ways to express disinterest or disgust, however, without making threats.
Obviously, portraying a gay character as a straight actor comes with its hurdles, so the support of one's family members can mean everything during rough times. But Michael Cimino also revealed that he's faced some setbacks closer to home for his Love, Victor role.
I got some homophobic comments — I kind of expected that to happen. I didn’t expect it from my own family members, though.
Although a striking subsection of the fanbase surrounding Love, Victor has been negative, George Sear points out that the overall response has been overwhelmingly positive. Last summer, the Hulu series turned out to be a must-binge original series, and plenty of fans have been catching up going into Season 2. The first season was originally going to be a Disney+ show, until the decision was made to move to Hulu, with co-showrunner Brian Tanen being excited to explore “more adult stories” as the series progresses. With the second season dropping last Friday, Victor and Benji’s journey spawned further exploration, and now fans will be waiting for news about a Season 3 renewal.
Fans of certain movies and shows are very passionate when it comes to certain forms of representation. Whether it’d be LGBTQ portrayals, or the lack of racial diversity on a certain project, fans are more vocal about their loyalties than ever. Love, Victor is just one example of audiences going a tad too far, and it's very dismaying to learn that Michael Cimino is facing it not just from fans, but also from family members. However, it’s not all bad as he did reveal that some of his friends and family then turned from the “dark side” in order to support him, so let's hope there's more of that in his future.
Love, Victor Season 2 is streaming now on Hulu.