Actor Martin Freeman, known for his role in the TV series Sherlock, has raised a few eyebrows with new comments. The actor has revealed that the show experienced significant backlash for not having a “gay” ending.
Freeman revealed the “controversy” in a radio interview with the British Radio 4. The actor, who has also played significant roles in The Hobbit film series and Black Panther, rose to fame for his performance as Dr. Watson in the reimagined version of the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes series, which constantly toyed with the sexual nature of the relationship between Holmes and Watson. Apparently, viewers took the ambiguity far more to heart than the creative personnel on the show first realized.
“So by the time we filmed the last ones there were some fans who were so adamant that John and Sherlock were gay,” Freeman said in his interview. “They knew it and they knew that Steven and Mark [Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss, showrunners for the series] were going to write an episode where we held hands off into the sunset together, and so when that didn’t happen there was a chunk of people going, ‘this is betrayal’.”
The show played the intense bromance between Holmes and Watson with tongue-in-cheek humor, with other characters often assuming the inseparable pair were a gay couple. Even Watson and Holmes appeared to question their feelings on occasion. The show also amped up the homoeroticism by introducing Jim Moriarty (played by out actor Andrew Scott), a reimagined version of the nefarious Professor Moriarty, who appeared to fall in love with Holmes. Despite the homoerotic tease, Freeman and star Benedict Cumberbatch both stated that Holmes and Watson are not gay.
Sherlock ran four seasons plus one TV film before unofficially ending in 2017. Freeman, Moffatt, Gatiss and Cumberbatch have all expressed interest in doing more episodes further down the road.