Star of The Walking Dead Daniel Newman has slammed media outlets for describing him as gay.
The American actor, 36, criticised publications for failing to correctly refer to him a bisexual after he came out to fans in a heartfelt video posted online.
Newman, who plays a member of survivor colony The Kingdom on the hit US zombie drama, accused journalists of wilfully ignoring his past relationships with women.
He told The Advocate: “People magazine even said that I was gay. I had just told the reporter about being bisexual and having girlfriends and things like that.
“She was like, ‘Oh, cool. Are you in a relationship?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I have an incredible boyfriend.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, cool. It’s awesome you came out as gay.’
“And then the article got published around the world that I said I was gay, which, I mean, it’s totally fine. But it was interesting to me that… if you have a boyfriend, [people think that] you’re 100 percent gay.”
The Georgia-born actor, who is set to reprise his role as apocalypse survivor Daniel when The Walking Dead returns to US screens for an eight season next month, also called on Hollywood to “move forward” the narrative when it comes to LGBT+ stories onscreen.
“What I would encourage Hollywood to do now is to lay off of the sob stories and the hardship stories [relating to LGBT folks], and move forward into incredibly positive, interactive stories where a gay character, a bisexual character, a trans character is just part of that reality, as opposed to highlighting so much anguish and struggle of the past,” he said.
“The world needs to see the seamless integration of the LGBTQ [person] now in society, because that’s the way it is. When I visit colleges, high schools, and groups, it’s like a different world now.”
He added: “What needs to really be highlighted now, I think, is all the diversity. Show the masculine football player guys; show the guys that are running these huge industries… the incredible out leaders.”
The Walking Dead season 8 premieres on on October 22 on AMC in the US.