Olivia Colman has hit out at those who “bullied” Heartstopper star Kit Connor into coming out as bisexual.
The 18-year-old actor opened up about his sexuality in November after some viewers accused him of “queerbaiting”, suggesting that he identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community to further his career.
Responding to the accusations in a tweet, he wrote: “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.”
In the Netflix series, which is based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novels of the same name, Connor plays Nick Nelson, a rugby player who begins to question his sexuality when he meets fellow student Charlie Spring (Joe Locke). Connor’s character finally comes out as bisexual.
Connor’s tweet received widespread support from his fans and peers, with numerous criticising those who forced him to disclose his sexuality.
Colman, who plays Nick’s mother in the series, shared her thoughts on the situation during the premiere for her new movie Empire Of Light.
“I am so proud of him, but I am not proud of how individuals bullied him,” she said Variety.
“I think individuals should be allowed to have their own journey. 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.”
Heartstopper creator Oseman was one of the first individuals to voice her support for Connor, condemning those who misunderstood the point of the series.
“I truly don’t understand how individuals can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes,” she wrote in response to Connor’s message.
“I hope all those individuals are embarrassed as FUCK. Kit you are amazing.”
Heartstopper is set to return for a second season in 2023.