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Craig Mazin Is "Passionate" About Including Queer Stories In The Last Of Us

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Bella Ramsey has opened up about LGBTQ+ representation in The Last of Us, hinting that the show won't shy away from the queer stories in Part 2. Speaking after the most recent episode depicted Ellie's relationship with another female character, Riley, Ramsey says showrunner Craig Mazin is "passionate" about The Last of Us' queerness, always planning to depict gay characters in the first season.

This also comes after, yet again, we see an episode that focuses on queer characters and stories get review bombed, taking A Long, Long Time's place as the lowest-rated episode. This is despite the two episodes having very few similarities besides both centring on queer characters, clearly showing that it has drawn the ire of bigoted viewers.

Related: HBO's The Last Of Us And The Importance Of Explicit Queerness

"Why wouldn't there be gay storylines in a show like this?" says Ramsey, speaking to Sky News after the negative response to the latest episode, Left Behind. "I'm so glad that HBO are doing it, and I know it was something that Craig was really passionate about."

Eliie reading a book to Riley in HBO's The Last Of Us

Ramsey continues, explaining how the first season of The Last of Us was always going to include LGBTQ+ stories. "The Ellie and Riley stories in the Game and Bill and Frank is hinted at in the Game. I think it's really cool. Just because of the apocalypse doesn't mean that gay people don't exist."

With this on Mazin's mind, it's clear that season 2 won't tone down the queer stories in The Last of Us Part 2. This will likely mean the introduction of trans character, Lev, and the continued exploration of Ellie's love life. Unfortunately, both of these aspects were also met with pushback from homophobic and transphobic players - with some even abusing the model behind one of the cis characters, Abby, for simply not adhering to their idea of what a woman should look like. Sadly, it seems we can expect a similar response to season 2.

On the bright side, much of the hate can be drowned out by love. Left Behind currently has more positive reviews than negative, with many loving this adaptation of the Game's DLC. Now, we'll have to see if the show can stick the landing for its final two episodes, especially as the story gets divisive towards the end.

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