Skip To Content
  • pride2021 badge

"Love, Victor" Star Michael Cimino Says He's Received Death Threats For Portraying A Gay Character

"There's nothing wrong with being gay."

In case you haven't seen it, Michael Cimino stars in Love, Victor, the Love, Simon television spin-off, as Victor Salazar.

Victor and Benji embrace on set of "Love, Victor"
Greg Gayne / Via Hulu

And he's great in it.

Hulu / Via giphy.com

Except, of course, the actor identifies as straight, and not everyone is cool with him taking on the role.

In a new Attitude cover story, Michael opened up about his experience playing a gay lead.

“I got some homophobic comments — I kind of expected that to happen. I didn’t expect it from my own family members, though," he said. "Some of them reached out, saying, 'You used to be so cool; now you’re so gay.' I chalk it up to ignorance."

Hulu / Via giphy.com

"People have that programming and they often don’t have to evolve and try to push past that."

"There’s nothing wrong with being gay. That ignorance is often something that’s been passed on from generations prior," he continues. "I always approach that [by saying], ‘These are normal people that are struggling and they shouldn’t have to struggle.’”

Hulu / Via giphy.com

“I have changed opinions. I had some friends who are religious and they’ve changed their perspective on things."

He also said that he's "had some criticism from the LGBTQ+ community for being in the role."

Hulu / Via giphy.com

"I’ve had death threats, which is horrible. But the show is important to me. The messages of hate — I came into it knowing that would happen, regardless of how good I was," he said.

Hulu / Via giphy.com

"But there are some straight actors who play gay characters, who are all about supporting LGBTQ+ rights while they’re promoting their project, but once they’re done, a year later, it’s kind of forgotten," he continued.

Hulu / Via giphy.com

"That’s not how [to] be an ally, that’s not how you support LGBTQ+ rights. If you’re not an actual ally, then what are you doing?"

Hulu / Via giphy.com

He concludes, "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.”

Hulu / Via giphy.com

Read more at Attitude here.

Hulu / Via giphy.com

Check out all of BuzzFeed's posts celebrating Pride 2021.

A rainbow graphic for BuzzFeed's 2021 Pride coverage
Kevin Valente / Via BuzzFeed