The Umbrella Academy star hints season two will tackle homophobia and racism as pansexual character travels back in time

The Umbrella Academy cast photo

As The Umbrella Academy gears up to return for season two, Robert Sheehan (Klaus Hargreeves) has teased how the new episodes tackle homophobia and racism in the 1960s.

The pansexual Klaus’ relationship with Dave struck a chord with queer fans in season one – until he was shot dead in battle during the Vietnam War.

The Netflix original returns with a new run of episodes Friday (31 July), and this time the Hargreeves siblings have travelled back in time to the early 1960s – before Dave’s death.

Though details of The Umbrella Academy’s season two plot are being kept tightly under wraps, fans are hopeful that the new setting will pave the way for a reunion.

But of course, the ’60s wasn’t exactly a welcoming time for queer folk.

Without giving much away, Sheehan alluded that the season two will tackle the various forms of discrimination – such as homophobia, racism and xenophobia – that were present in the decade, while taking a sly swipe at shows that wear their politics on their sleeves.

“It’s tricky because there are shows out there that are performatively virtue signalling an agenda,” he told Metro.

“The intelligence of The Umbrella Academy is to deal with those issues from sort of a character perspective, that doesn’t feel like the show was making a political statement.

“It’s about the characters who are experiencing this stuff, which retrospectively is quite interesting because the actual execution of it cannot be through a political prism because I think that sort of broadcasts itself very much as virtue signalling.

“That’s the stuff that I would want to avoid like plague.”

Sheehan identifies as straight, but said that he “had a couple of experiences when I was younger with dudes, where I tried it, experimented, to see if it did anything for me”.

Sadly for gay fans, “it didn’t”.