Nick Offerman hits back at 'homophobic hate' after acclaimed role in The Last Of Us

Nick Offerman has a message for the haters who took issue with his LGBTQ+ role in an emotional episode of HBO's The Last of Us.

Offerman won a the award for best supporting performance in a new scripted series at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, where he took the opportunity to address some of the bigoted criticism he says he received about the episode.

The Parks and Rec alum thanked HBO for "having the guts to participate in this storytelling tradition that is truly independent." (HBO, CNN and Newshub share the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)

"Stories that when homophobic hate comes my way and says, 'why did you have to make it a gay story', we say, 'because you ask questions like that.' It's not a gay story, it's a love story, you asshole," Offerman said during his acceptance speech as the audience cheered and applauded.

He added that he hopes to see "more of that" representation before thanking the showrunners, his family and, hilariously, "my bride, my puzzle coach and legal property: Megan Mullally."

Offerman's one-episode arc on The Last of Us centres on an emotionally-driven heartbreaking love story between his character Bill, a surly doomsday survivalist, and the nomad he reluctantly took in named Frank, played by Murray Bartlett.

Offerman also won an Emmy for his performance in the episode.

The Last of Us series is based on the award-winning video game of the same name.

It chronicles the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a global pandemic that destroyed civilization, centering on Joel (Pedro Pascal) and 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey), who may be humanity's last hope at surviving.

The series is set to return for another season with Kaitlyn Dever and Schitt's Creek star Catherine O'Hara joining the cast.

A release date for Season 2 has not yet been announced.