Danny Dyer joined BBC One’s “Eastenders” in December 2013; in the time since then, audiences have already witnessed his on-screen son come out to him in an emotional episode that aired on January 3.
The plotline saw Dyer’s character Mick Carter deal with his son Johnny coming out after his mother and sister encourage him to be honest.
Since the episode aired, Dyer’s been thrown into the role of activist after he was responded to homophobic tweets from confused viewers who couldn’t handle a father accepting his son’s homosexuality. He tweeted in response:
Here’s a little message for some of the homophobic pricks who are tweeting me……..happy new year. t.co/0tiHPU2x01
— Danny Dyer (@MrDDyer) January 3, 2014
However, he also spoke of fans’ reactions to the plotline on the Jonathan Ross Show, in an episode set to air February 1.
According to Dyer, he has received letter from fans saying they came out after seeing the storyline with the Carters unfold.
“It was a real positive thing. A lot of young gay men, who hadn’t come out yet, they saw that scene and I was getting letters from these guys saying they came out the next day because of it,” Dyer told Ross.
“That’s a powerful thing and I was really proud to be associated with that,” he said. “They spun it on the head for me, because obviously my perception and what people think I’m about—that I was going to react badly—and instead I just cuddled him (Johnny) and said, ‘Listen, it’s fine, I love you, no problem.’”
Dyer, known for his “tough guy” attitude in movies and shows, thinks this new storyline has helped change the way people see him.
Dan’s on-screen wife Linda (played by Kellie Bright) continues to struggle with her son’s news, with the family reportedly having conflicts over it in the next few weeks on the show.