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03/03/2015 02:20 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Russell Tovey Responds To Controversy Over His Remarks About 'Effeminate' Men

David M. Benett via Getty Images

"Looking" star Russell Tovey has apologized after making controversial remarks about effeminate men in an interview.

The 33-year-old actor, who is openly gay, took to Twitter to address the backlash:

He continued:

The actor made the headline-making comments in a March 1 interview with The Guardian's Tom Lamont. In the interview, Tovey recalled his father's refusal to send him to a "theater school" during his teen years.

"I feel like I could have been really effeminate, if I hadn't gone to the school that I went to," he said. "Where I felt like I had to toughen up. If I'd have been able to relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for now allowing me to go down that path."

That experience, he added, "has probably given me the unique quality that people think I have," which appeared to hint as his ability to play both gay and straight roles in film and on television.

The quotes quickly sparked a backlash on social media, with a number of professed "Looking" fans decrying Tovey's remarks.

"I understand your story/opinion but statements like yours divide the gay community & propagate hate towards us by others. Sad," one user wrote, according to MTV.

Tovey currently stars as Kevin, the boss and on-again, off-again love interest of Patrick Murray (Jonathan Groff) on HBO's "Looking."

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