"I didn't expect it from my own family members": 'Love, Victor' star Michael Cimino reveals he's been getting death threats for playing a gay character

Michael Cimino is playing the role of a gay character in "Love, Victor" (Image via Distractify)
Michael Cimino is playing the role of a gay character in "Love, Victor" (Image via Distractify)

American actor and singer-songwriter Michael Cimino has revealed that he has been receiving death threats for playing a gay character on TV. This happened after Cimino took the lead role in the "Love, Simon" spinoff series. He is a straight actor who is playing a gay character in the series.

Cimino played the role of Victor in the series and said that he takes his role as an LGBTQIA+ ally seriously. He said that he received some homophobic comments, and he expected that to happen. But he never expected it from his family members. Cimino explained that,

“Some of them reached out, saying, ‘You used to be so cool; now you’re so gay.’ I chalk it up to ignorance. People have that programming and they often don’t have to evolve and try to push past that.”

Michael Cimino on criticism about the character he played

Cimino believes that the hate towards the show and the LGBTQIA+ community at large stems from ignorance. He says that there is nothing wrong if one is gay. That ignorance is something that has been passed down from generations prior.

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The second season of "Love, Victor" recently dropped on Hulu. Cimino said that it helped him to change some previously closed minds. A few of Cimino’s friends are religious, and they have changed their perspective on things.

Cimino said that Hollywood is always called progressive. Still, he has faced a lot of pushback from inside the industry for taking on the role of a gay high school student. He said that,

“I’ve been advised that you shouldn’t play gay roles, especially [for] your first big role. ‘Everyone will think you’re gay’ or ‘You won’t be able to book anything’, ‘You’ll never be able to build a fan base’. I’m not a traditional ‘masculine’ man, so that would be people trying to force men into something I’m not. Here I am playing a gay role that might not be considered masculine in an outdated idea of what masculinity is.”

Cimino has faced criticism from the LGBTQIA+ community, where most think that straight actors should not be cast in gay roles. However, Cimino says that the show is important for him. He knew that the hate messages would happen.

Cimino added that there had been some straight actors who play gay characters. They also support LGBTQIA+ rights. But that happens only while promoting the project. After the film releases, it is a forgotten cause.


In an interview with Attitude, Cimino explained that he does not want to fall into the trap of convenience. He says that it is not the way to be an ally and support equal rights. He further added,

“It’s an honor to play Victor, and a big responsibility. I went in with the pure intent to represent that correctly. I held myself to a really high standard to make sure everyone going through this story felt represented by the show.”

The second season of the American teen comedy-drama television series premiered on Hulu on June 11, 2021. It has received positive reviews from critics and the audience.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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