Gus Kenworthy opened up about being labelled Colton Underwood’s “gay guide” and the upcoming series in a new interview.
Sitting down with The Advocate, Kenworthy expressed his discomfort with the title, stating: “God, please, please, please don’t put it in quotes. In actuality, I’m kind of just his friend.”
Shortly after Underwood came out, Variety reported that an unscripted series was in the works focusing on the television personality as he lives his life publicly as a gay man.
An insider at the publication stated that Kenworthy would act as Underwood’s “gay guide” as he finds his place within the LGBTQ+ community.
“It put a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths, and mine included because that’s not what I signed up for,” he explained.
He went on to say that he didn’t want the news and title to make him come across as “holier-than-thou” and that he’s “still learning” himself.
“But I’m friends with Colton. And then, I know more than he does, because I’ve been out for longer,” he continued.
“And so I want to try and pass on some of that knowledge to make it a smoother road for him and to help open his eyes because he does have a platform and he does have an amazing opportunity to connect with a lot of people.”
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Kenworthy also discussed the backlash that the announcement faced due to Underwood’s stalking allegations from ex Cassie Randolph.
“While I understood the criticism [surrounding Underwood] and actually could even say I agree with some of it, it also doesn’t change the fact that it is still a big day for him,” he said.
“And it’s a huge weight off his shoulders. I wish that he could have just gotten a day to have that for his day, instead of having it tied to something else and kind of making the whole experience ugly.”
Last year, Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood after allegedly being harassed through text messages by the former NFL player.
The allegations spawned a change.org petition pressuring Netflix to cancel the series.
Kenworthy went on to say that while Underwood’s story isn’t perfect, it’s one that needs to be “seen”.
“I’m not saying that his is the perfect coming out story and should be the one that everyone’s getting behind. But I also do think it’s an interesting story,” he said.
“And it deserves to be seen. And I think that the more representation we can have, the better for everyone.”