Storm Reid, who plays Riley in the latest episode of HBO’s “The Last of Us” and is the love interest of Bella Ramsey’s character Ellie, has a message for those critics. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reid highlighted the importance of telling stories of people’s experiences and their presence in the world:
“We are telling important stories. We’re telling stories of people’s experiences, and that’s what I live for. That’s what makes good storytelling because we are telling stories of people who are taking up space in the world.”
Reid echoed the sentiments expressed by her co-star, Bella Ramsey, who in a British GQ interview, encouraged viewers to get used to the show’s inclusive storylines:
“I know people will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you, and you’re missing out.”
As Reid noted, we are living in 2023, and if people are still concerned about who she loves, then they need to get their priorities straight. There are more important things to worry about in life than who young people, or anybody else, love:
“It’s 2023. If you’re concerned about who I love, then I need you to get your priorities straight. There’s so many other things to worry about in life. Why are you concerned that these young people — or anybody — love each other? Love is beautiful, and the fact that people have things to say about it, it’s just nonsense.”
The Last of Us is a prime example of the importance of inclusive storytelling. By portraying diverse characters and their experiences, the show reflects the reality of the world we live in. It shows that people of all backgrounds and identities deserve to have their stories told and be represented on screen.
“Inclusive storytelling is not just about representation. It’s about acknowledging the existence and validity of people from all walks of life. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels seen and heard, and where we can learn from each other’s experiences,” adds Reid.