The Last of Us nomination for MTV Movie Award’s Best Kiss snubs heart-stopping queer romances

The Last of Us MTV Award

The Last of Us has been nominated at the MTV awards for featuring the best kiss – but not for either of the show’s queer smooches.

During the second episode of the post-apocalyptic survival series, to save Bella and Joel from certain death, Tess (Anna Torv) sacrifices herself to a group of the mushroom-people amalgamations who threaten the last vestiges of humanity.

But while everyone’s favourite pseudo father and daughter escape the scene relatively unscathed, Tess spends her last moment getting snogged by a creepy “Infected” to recruit her into the mycellium hive mind.

Anna Torv (r) and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us. (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

It is this kiss that, bizarrely, has been chosen as a nominee for the award rather than one from the ground-breaking (and queer) third or seventh episodes of the series.

“Long, Long Time” paints the heart-breaking portrait of Bill and Frank (Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett) who marry and eventually die together in the safe, survivalist compound created by the former. The episode was loved by critics and fans alike, with many celebrating the unapologetic portrayal of two older queer men in love and the subversion of the dread “bury your gays” trope.

Elswhere, in episode seven, “Left Behind“, viewers get a glimpse of Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) back story and sweet first kiss with best friend Riley (Storm Reid), before the latter’s traumatic death.

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But no, the kiss that MTV has decided to honour between Anna Torv and Philip Prajoux (playing the Infected character) is the same one that series creator Craig Mazin told Variety was meant to be “disturbing and violative”.

Fans on Twitter have not taken too kindly to the snub, with one saying that MTV nominating the “grossest, most … horrifying scene” over two other options is “just homophobia and shock-jock bulls**t”.

Another wrote that the nomination is “baffling”, while a third said the decision to “include *that* kiss … over either of the two that involve gay characters literally made [them] laugh out loud in public.”

The Infected/Tess kiss is up against Harry Styles and David Dawson in My Policeman, Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow in Outer Banks, Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones & the Six, and Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne in Only Murders in the Building.

The Last of Us has been nominated for a further four MTV awards including for best show, best hero (Pedro Pascal, as Joel), breakthrough performance (Ramsey) and best duo.

Season two of The Last of Us is set to be even queerer than the first, with Ramsey teasing that she’s really excited to explore Ellie’s lesbian relationship with Dina. The show will also introduce new characters, including trans boy Lev.