'Heartstopper' Actors Face Online Hate; Twitter Rallies

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday May 4, 2022
Originally published on May 4, 2022

Kit Connor and Joe Locke in a scene from 'Heartstopper'
Kit Connor and Joe Locke in a scene from 'Heartstopper'  (Source:Courtesy of Net)

The lead actors in the Netflix romantic dramedy "Heartstopper" make for a sweet same-sex couple — but that's just TV. Online trolls, however, don't seem to know the difference.

Actor Kit Connor plays high school athlete Nick in the series, an 8-episode adaptation of a popular graphic novel. In the show, which debuted on the streamer on April 22, Nick falls in love with schoolmate Charlie (Joe Locke), and struggles to work out whether he might be bisexual.

The series also features a lesbian couple and a romance between a straight youth and a transgender girl.

"While fans can't stop gushing about the couples on the show, they've been intrusive to the actors by speculating their sexuality," Netflix Junkie.com said, going on to add: "Kit Connor has come out to speak against them."

Connor has posted a lot on Twitter about the show, sharing his comments with PopSugar about the show and praise from viewers, including "It's A Sin" lead actor Olly Alexander.

But among the happy posts, Connor sent out a tweet in which he lamented, "apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do..."

Co-star Locke faces similar woes in the social media milieu.

"Viewers are obsessed with Joe Locke who plays Charlie but he's also received some hate online and he's now called it out," PopBuzz detailed.

Locke posted a screenshot of an online search pairing is name with the terms "ugly" and "gay." He followed up with a tweet reading: "Everyone should be entitled to an opinion, but just know we see most of the stuff people post online."

Retweeting his castmate's tweet, Connor posted: "primary school playground flashbacks"

While some on Twitter were derogatory or intrusive, others swiftly rose to the actors' defense. See some of their tweets below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.