The Last of Us star Nick Offerman condemns homophobic hate from viewers

The Last of Us actor Nick Offerman has used an awards speech to condemn the “homophobic hate” he has received from viewers, over his character.

At Sunday’s Independent Spirit Awards, Offerman won best supporting performance in a new scripted series, for playing Bill in the TV drama.

Bill and his partner, Frank, are among the survivors of a fungal brain infection in the hit HBO show.

Offerman thanked HBO for “having the guts” to tell such stories.

He added they were “stories with guts, that when homophobic hate comes my way and says, ‘Why did you have to make it a gay story?’, we say, ‘Because you ask questions like that – it’s not a gay story, it’s a love story.'”

Offerman’s comments were met with loud applause from the audience at the event, in Santa Monica, California.

Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman at the Emmys on 6 January

He was nominated alongside Murray Bartlett, who played Frank; while Bella Ramsey was up for best lead performance, for playing Ellie.

Their co-star Keivonn Montreal Woodard won the award for best breakthrough performance, for playing Sam.

Netflix’s Beef also won two awards in the TV categories – best new scripted series and best lead performance, for Ali Wong.

In the film section, Korean-American romance Past Lives won best feature and best director, for Celine Song.

Literary-satire American Fiction won best lead performance, for Jeffrey Wright, and best screenplay, for Cord Jefferson.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph

And 1970-set boarding-school comedy-drama The Holdovers picked up best supporting performance, for Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and best breakthrough performance, for Dominic Sessa.

The Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, held in a marquee on Santa Monica seafront, is the latest event in the Hollywood awards season, and focuses on programmes and films made outside the major studio system.

A pro-Palestinian protester made sure his message was heard by playing a recorded chant over a loudspeaker throughout the event.

It “created a stir in the audience at the ceremony, as it was louder than the show itself”, Variety said.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Oppenheimer won the top prize at another ceremony, the Producers Guild of America Awards.

The PGA award is one of the best predictors of the Academy Award for Best Picture, when the awards season reaches its climax, at the Oscars, on 10 March.

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