Actor Tom Holland's legion of fans have come to his defense after a scene in his new series prompted vicious anti-LGBTQ+ attacks online.
Holland plays Danny Sullivan in the Apple TV+ series The Crowded Room. Holland's character in a recent episode appeared in two gay sex scenes. The series centers on the true story of Billy Milligan—renamed Danny Sullivan for the series—who was arrested for the kidnapping, robbery and rape of three women in 1977.
In one scene, Holland's character dances with a man in a gay club and has sex with him in the bathroom, while in another his character performs oral sex on another man.
Conservatives—who in all likelihood weren't even watching the show—were having none of that. Many lashed out at Holland online with homophobic abuse.
Self-proclaimed fans of the Spider-Man franchise in which Holland starred were particularly upset.
One such tweet read:
"I don't understand why men would even accept these roles of them being bent over."
Others started a hashtag #NotMySpiderMan to retaliate against Holland for the gay sex scenes.
The angry tweets directed at Holland were full of bigoted comments about gay men, transgender people and queer people.
But glaringly absent from conservative fans' criticisms was any abuse toward Holland's colleagues, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, who previously played Spider-Man in the Sony owned Marvel franchise before Holland.
Both have also portrayed gay or queer characters in their careers.
Comic book and super-hero fandom is unfortunately well known for its toxic masculinity, having a vocally bigoted, homophobic contingent.
But while the show might be an easy mark and the backlash might not exactly be surprising, the commentary was definitely abhorrent to say the least. And Holland's fans were having none of it.
They took to Twitter in force to defend Holland against the trolling and call out so-called fans for their anti-LGBTQ+ bias.
Holland has been outspoken about how much he does not enjoy the Hollywood celebrity part of being an actor.
Incidents like this make it easy to see why.