Olivia Colman has spoken out against viewers who “bullied” Heartstopper actor Kit Connor into coming out as bisexual before he was ready.
The 18-year-old actor has enjoyed a recent surge to fame following his appearance in the Netflix series, Heartstopper, which is based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novels of the same name. In the story, Connor plays the part of Nick Nelson, a rugby player who begins questioning his sexuality after meeting fellow student Charlie Spring – portrayed by Joe Locke. Nick Nelson eventually comes out as bisexual.
Back in November, Connor opened up about his sexuality after some viewers accused him of “queerbaiting” they suggested that he identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community to improve his career prospects.
Taking to Twitter, the young star retorted: “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.”
Connor’s tweet received widespread support from fans and colleagues, with many condemning the rash, abusive comments of some viewers.
Oscar-winning actor Colman, who plays Nick’s mother in Heartstopper, shared her thoughts on the situation during the premiere of her new film Empire Of Light. “I am so proud of him, but I am not proud of how people bullied him,” she told Variety.
“I think people 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 among the first to speak up following the hurtful, misguided comments. She pointed out that these people had misunderstood the point of the series.
“I truly don’t understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes,” she wrote in response to Connor’s tweet. “I hope all those people are embarrassed as FUCK. Kit you are amazing.”
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Heartstopper will return for a second series in 2023.
Watch the official trailer for the first series below.