The Last of Us is a series that broke a lot of ground. As a huge AAA title from a major studio, it was one of the first to include an openly gay main character.
Ellie, one of the main protagonists of the series, is gay and has a same sex kiss in the first game’s DLC story. She then goes on to have a relationship with another young woman in the second game.
Obviously, this LGBT representation in such a major title is meaningful for a lot of people. Some were concerned that when the game is adapted for television in the upcoming HBO series, that Ellie’s sexuality would either not be addressed or changed completely.
However, Craig Mazin, the creator of the miniseries Chernobyl and one of the showrunners for The Last of Us has confirmed that they are 100% keeping Ellie’s sexual orientation in play.
You have my word.
— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) March 5, 2020
When the series was first announced, a Twitter user commented on it, stating “Y’all better keep the gay gay. Do not erase that representation please.”
Mazin responded, “You have my word.”
Representation is a subject that has come under fire a lot lately, with the public eye turning to media sources to be more inclusive in the casting and creation of characters. The cis-hetero white male characters of old have been taking a back seat in recent years to more female, LGBT, and POC protagonists.
It’s a trend we’ve seen in major films like Star Wars, with its most recent trilogy focusing on a woman, a black man, and a Hispanic character. Then you have the Fantastic Beasts movie series, which features a confirmed LGBT character in Albus Dumbledore. However, that series has come under fire because the character’s orientation is never directly mentioned outside of some vague hints.
It’s good to see that Mazin and seemingly The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann are on board the representation train and will be including this vital piece of Ellie’s character for the show.
The Last of Us: Part 2, which released for the PlayStation 4 earlier this year, was ripe with representation. Not only was Ellie in a full blown LGBT relationship that was at the center of the entire story, but there was also a young trans boy, Lev, who held a pivotal role in the plot.
There is no word yet on the casting for The Last of Us on HBO, but it’s only a matter of time before we start to get news on which actors will be bringing some of our favorite video game characters to life on the small screen.