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The Last of Us: why episode 3 is controversial and receives a wave of bad ratings

In its latest episode, The Last of Us series has deviated slightly from the game by focusing on the story of Bill and Frank, before the events of 2023. For the first time, the creators have confirmed that the two men are a couple gay. As expected, this did not please a certain category of viewers.

tlou s01e03 bill

Since its launch on HBO, The Last of Us has been almost unanimous. Whether it’s the critics or the public, almost everyone seems to agree to salute the quality of the television adaptation. On specialized sites, the first two episodes each received exceptional ratings, relatively rare for a series that begins. But, on Rotten Tomatoes as on IMDb, opinions are plummeting on the third episode. Meanwhile, on social media, the episode is acclaimed for its strong emotional reach and the portrayal of a couple in the midst of an apocalypse.

So what happened? If the reason certainly escapes anyone who has seen the episode itself, some viewers do not hide their reasons behind their severe rating. The problem is that Bill and Frank are gay. For a large part of those concerned, it would be yet another homosexual love story on television, which they consider too frequent. However, according to a report by the GLAAD association published in 2018, LGBT characters represent only 6.4% of the American audiovisual landscape. Suffice to say that these comments are strongly tinged with homophobia.

The Last of Us is being mobbed by homophobic viewers

Warning, the rest of this article contains spoilers on the game as well as on the series.

Still, it’s worth remembering that in the 2013 game, it was already strongly hinted that Bill and Frank were in a relationship. If the series has certainly taken great liberties as to the death of the two characters (Frank died by hanging in the game and by drug suicide from an illness in the series, Bill does not die in the game but joins Frank in the series) the episode was content with confirm rumors who had already been circulating for many years about their relationships.

Related – The Last of Us Creates Panic Among Viewers Fearing a Real Zombie Apocalypse

This phenomenon is not new. It even has a name: review bombing. Concretely, it is a question of attacking the ratings sites to attribute a bad review to a work. Very often, it is for their followers to express their dissatisfaction with the creators of this work, whether for ideological reasons or simply for trolling. Fortunately, the overall rating of The Last of Us did not suffer too much from this event.

tlou episode 3 notes
Left: IMDb ratings. Right: Metacritic ratings

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