Noah Schnapp responds to criticism over Will's sexuality storyline in Stranger Things 4

4 July 2022, 16:14 | Updated: 4 July 2022, 17:32

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By Katie Louise Smith

"Let them slowly develop the plot and when he does come out, it will be really special and real."

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Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has responded to the disappointment and criticism over Will’s sexuality storyline in season 4.

If you’ve watched Stranger Things 4, you’ll know that Will Byers is in love with Mike Wheeler. Will has a big crush on his best friend, but he continues to find himself at a loss because Mike is in love with Eleven.

Will opens up to Mike a couple of times throughout season 4. Their conversations are usually about Eleven, but it's crystal clear that Will is actually speaking about himself and his own feelings towards Mike.

Following the release of Volume 1, fans were desperate to find out if Will would actually come out and discuss his sexuality directly. And thanks to a number of comments from the cast and the Duffer brothers hinting that the topic would be developed and discussed further, viewers believed it might actually happen.

But while Will's sexuality was heavily alluded to in Volume 2 within the subtext of two big scenes, the fact that Will is gay was not explicitly confirmed in the way some fans had hoped for.

SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t watched Volume 2 yet, you might wanna skip ahead and come back when you’re done!

Is Will Byers gay in Stranger Things 4?

While Will didn’t explicitly come out or share his feelings, he did have a beautiful heart-to-heart with his brother Jonathan, who overheard and seemingly understood the real meaning behind his emotional conversation with Mike.

In episode 9, Will reveals his painting to Mike, and then breaks down in tears after disguising his own feelings towards Mike by talking about El.

Later in the episode, Jonathan, who noticed his breakdown, pulls him aside and reassures him that he's always there for him, saying: "I don't want you to forget that I'm here and I'll always be here no matter what because you're my brother and I love you and there is nothing in this world, okay? Absolutely nothing in this world that will ever change that. You got that?"

Some fans weren’t particularly happy with the way the show ended up broaching the subject of Will’s sexuality, calling it “vague” and “disappointing”. Others desperately felt Will should have come out to his brother in a direct way.

READ MORE: Does Will Byers come out as gay in Stranger Things 4? Here's what he says to Mike in Volume 2

Stranger Things 4: Will shares emotional hug with Jonathan in Volume 2
Stranger Things 4: Will shares emotional hug with Jonathan in Volume 2. Picture: Netflix

Now, Noah Schnapp has responded to that criticism by commenting on a now-deleted TikTok video.

The caption on the video reads: "Incredibly disappointing that this is the route they decided to take with Will's sexuality. It's just so vile that everything has to be a metaphor?? I'm so tired of vague coming out scenes in media that simply should've had confirmation to begin with. Will deserved to have his coming out scene with Jonathan. Will deserved to explain his painting to Mike without it being twisted into some sort of plot device for a straight couple."

In response, Noah wrote: "First of all, it’s the 80s and the kid’s a FRESHMAN in [high school]. Let them slowly develop the plot and when he does come out, it will be really special and real."

With one more season still to come before Stranger Things ends, there's still time for Will's sexuality to be discussed. And it will be, as Noah Schnapp has said, when the time feels right for Will.

Based on the end of season 4, it certainly feels like Will Byers will be back at the forefront of the show in the fifth and final season. As the Duffer brothers said when talking about his sexuality, "his journey and arc is far from finished."

After years of ambiguity about Will's sexuality, here's hoping Stranger Things 5 finally delivers on a beautiful coming out for our boy Will Byers.

Read more about Stranger Things 5 here:

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