‘The Last of Us’ Star Storm Reid on Queer Backlash: This is Nonsense

“Why are you worried that these young people – or anyone – love each other?”

Storm Reid hopes this is the last time audiences criticize queer stories on screen.

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

“I’m sure people will have their say on Sunday, but I don’t care because I’m proud of what we did,” Reid said. Entertainment Weekly before the episode airs. “I’m proud of the story we’ve told and I’m proud of the people we represent.”

He continued: “It’s 2023. If you’re worried about who I love, you need to be clear about your priorities. There are so many other things to worry about in life. Why are you worried that these young people—or anyone—love each other? Love is beautiful and what people have to say about it is just nonsense.”

Reid added: “We tell important stories. We tell people’s experiences, and that’s what I live for. This is good storytelling because we are telling stories about people who are taking up space in the world. I don’t just represent women. I represent young black women and I represent young queer women experiencing new feelings and new relationships.”

The ‘Gone’ actress spoke about the ‘complexity’ of her character Riley’s relationship with Ellie, saying: ‘Are we on the ropes of friendship and are we in love or is it love? Is it just flirtatious energy? So much goes into the complexity of this episode. Also, I find the complexity of Ellie and Riley’s relationship so beautiful.”

Co-star Ramsey previously spoke about the famous third episode, “Long, Long Time,” in which Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman play a gay couple. Conservative critics such as Ben Shapiro complained that the episode was a “Brokeback Mountain” type story without the zombies.

Narrated by protagonist Ramsey, who identifies as transgender in real life GQ UK“I know people think what they want to think. But they have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay stories, because it has a trans character, that’s up to you and you’re missing out.”

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