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

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

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"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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