TFATWS Star Anthony Mackie Faces Backlash For Response To Sam/Bucky Romance Speculation

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie has come under fire for his response to a question about a possible romance between his character, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan).

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As is often the case when two characters who share a strong bond are "shipped," there's been some speculation that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) might turn out to be more than just close friends. This theory gained steam when Bucky seemingly referenced a gay dating app in the first episode, but the show has never really given us any reason to believe that the pair intended to embark of a romantic relationship.

Still, it's an attention-grabbing prospect (we're covering it here, after all), so outlets tend to treat it as a "rumor" and ask about it in interviews even though they already know what the answer is going to be. Such was the case when Variety spoke to Mackie about the Disney+ series and the "interpretation that Sam and Bucky are sexually or romantically attracted to each other."

“So many things are twisted and convoluted. There’s so many things that people latch on to with their own devices to make themselves relevant and rational,” the actor replied. “The idea of two guys being friends and loving each other in 2021 is a problem because of the exploitation of homosexuality. It used to be guys can be friends, we can hang out, and it was cool. You would always meet your friends at the bar, you know."

"You can’t do that anymore, because something as pure and beautiful as homosexuality has been exploited by people who are trying to rationalize themselves," he continued. "So something that’s always been very important to me is showing a sensitive masculine figure. There’s nothing more masculine than being a superhero and flying around and beating people up. But there’s nothing more sensitive than having emotional conversations and a kindred spirit friendship with someone that you care about and love.”

Mackie's comments have been interpreted different ways, but many seem to feel that he's pushing back on the notion that Sam and Bucky might be gay, and the "exploitation of homosexuality" line has raised a few eyebrows, to say the least. However, Variety has also been put on blast for framing his response a certain way in the transcript.

Listen to the interview for yourselves below and see what you think.

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