Olivia Coleman blasts ‘bullies’ who forced Heartstopper co-star Kit Connor to come out as bisexual

Olivia Coleman in Heartstopper

Olivia Colman has said she is “so proud” of Heartstopper co-star Kit Connor for the way he handled coming out as bisexual amid accusations of queerbaiting. 

Colman, who plays the 18-year-old’s mother on the Netflix series, shared her admiration for Connor at the LA premiere of her new drama Empire of Light. 

“I am so proud of him, but I am not proud of how people bullied him,” Colman told Variety on Thursday (1 December). 

“I think people should be allowed to have their own journey.

“But I’m incredibly proud of him as a young man to deal with all of that and be in the spotlight. It’s unfair,” she continued.

“But he’s amazing. He’s a very beautiful human being.”

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Connor shot to fame earlier this year in Netflix’s heartwarming, queer tear-jerker Heartstopper as bisexual high schooler Nick Nelson.

A still from Netflix's Heartstopper which shows Kit Connor as Nick Nelson
Kit Connor as Nick Nelson in Heartstopper. (Netflix)

He revealed he was quitting Twitter on 12 September after a video of him allegedly holding hands with Cuban Girl’s Guide star Maia Reficco led to him being accused of queerbaiting. 

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Queerbaiting‘ is defined by dictionary.com as “the practice of implying non-heterosexual relationships or attraction to engage or attract an LGBTQ+ audience or otherwise generate interest without ever actually depicting such relationships or sexual interactions”.

Connor had quit Twitter, but returned to the platform on 31 October to announce that he is bi. 

He wrote: “Back for a minute. I’m bi.

“Congrats on forcing an 18-year-old to out himself.

“I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye.”

Heartstopper creator Alice Oseman tweeted her support for the actor who brought her character Nick Nelson to life, saying she didn’t “understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes.”

She added: “I hope all those people are embarrassed as F**K. Kit you are amazing.”

Since being forced out Connor has shared thoughts on the “shockingly low” amount of bisexual representation on TV. 

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He said playing Heartstopper character Nick Nelson, who is bisexual, enabled him to portray all of the nuances that come with realising and understanding your bisexuality. 

“It was a real pleasure to be able to portray that journey and those experiences. 

“Playing those kind of moments — it felt like the main arc of the character if that makes sense. 

“It’s not just so much of working out whether or not you are a boy attracted to another boy, it’s also, you know, discovering whether or not everything that [Nick] sort of previously thought about his sexuality is suddenly invalid, or whether or not it’s something that he wants to still acknowledge.”

Season two of Heartstopper is currently in production.

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