9-1-1’s Oliver Stark Reacts to Fans and Haters After Buck’s Gay Kiss | Us Weekly

April 6, 2024

Oliver Stark as Buck on '9-1-1'
Disney/Chris Willard

Oliver Stark has a message for the fans — and the haters — after Buck kissed Tommy on ABC’s 9-1-1.

“Humbled and overwhelmed by the positive reaction to Buck’s storyline,” Stark, 32, wrote via Instagram Story on Saturday, April 6, two days after the 100th episode of 9-1-1 featured his character kissing a man for the first time. “I’ve read so many of your messages and I couldn’t be prouder.”

While many fans have been hoping to see Buck explore his sexuality for years, the actor acknowledged that not everyone was happy with the story line.

“If you are one of the smaller group of people commenting on my posts about how this has ruined the show, I would like you to know that I truly don’t care,” he wrote. “This is a show about love and inclusion. It’s featured queer relationships from he very beginning including a beautiful Black lesbian marriage played out by two of the best actresses I’ve ever watched.”

Paramedic Henrietta “Hen” Wilson (Aisha Hinds) and wife Karen Wilson (Tracie Thoms) share son Denny and have been core characters since the 2018 pilot, and they are only two of several LGBTQ+ characters with significant story lines on 9-1-1.

Stark concluded, “If one other character finding a new facet to his sexuality and realizing his bisexuality is your deal breaker — I fear you’ve missed the entire point of the show. You are not required to announce your departure.”

Oliver Stark's message via Instagram
Courtesy of Oliver Stark/Instagram

Evan “Buck” Buckley (Stark) and firefighter Tommy Kinard (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) kissed on the 100th episode, which aired Thursday, April 4. Fans of Buck and Eddie Diaz’s (Ryan Guzman) friendship have long hoped that Buck would explore his sexuality, and Stark revealed that he stepped back from social media because it was hard not to publicly agree with the shippers.

“I withdrew myself a lot from social media because you would see these things [about Buck] and I would agree … but I couldn’t agree, right?” he told TVLine on Thursday. “It was such a fine line, because if things didn’t happen, then I’d have been quote-unquote queerbaiting. So thank you [to those fans] for sticking with the story, and I hope there’s an element of it that feels right. I also hope you continue to stay on board and enjoy the story as we tell it.”

Earlier this week, Stark exclusively told Us Weekly that the story line surrounding Buck’s sexual identity will continue throughout season 7, and his struggle is one that is universally relatable: you don’t know what is “missing until you have light shined on it.”

“And I think that’s kind of the story that we’re able to start to tell here, is that Buck isn’t consciously aware of the thing that he’s looking for or what’s lacking in his life,” Stark shared with Us. “And as he hopefully starts to discover that it’s this cathartic, liberating feeling of just being able to ease into it and breathe out this big sigh of relief at last.”

9-1-1 season 7 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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