There’s been much debate about whether or not straight actors should play LGBTQ+ characters in film and TV shows, and it’s a debate that’s nowhere near settled.

Michael Cimino, who is straight, portrays a gay character on the Hulu series “Love, Victor”, and he shares his perspective on the controversy in a new interview with Attitude.

According to the 21-year-old actor, “Honestly, it wasn’t really a thought in my circle not to even play these characters.”

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However, he also understands the issues involved.

“I’ve definitely had some criticism from the LGBT community for being in the role… 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 added.

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

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

In fact, Cimino promises that, long after he’s finished playing Victor, he’ll still be advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.

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