There has been speculation that there might be a romantic spark between the characters, who are played by Mackie and Sebastian Stan in the Marvel show.
But Mackie has now put an end to that theory, saying during an interview that it was a “bromance” between “two guys who have each other’s back”.
The actor was being interviewed on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast when he was asked about some people’s interpretation of the friendship as something more.
"For me in this day and age so many things are twisted and convoluted," replied the 42-year-old. "There’s so many things that people latch on to with their own devices to make themselves relevant and rational."
He continued: "The idea of two guys being friends and loving each other in 2021 is a problem because of the exploitation of homosexuality. So it used to be guys can be friends, we can hang out, we can do this, and it was cool.
"You know, you would always meet your friends at the bar. You can’t do that anymore, because something as pure and beautiful as homosexuality has been exploited by people who are trying to rationalise themselves.”
He added: “Bucky and Sam have a relationship where they learn and figure out how to accept, appreciate, and love each other. You’d call it a bromance, but it’s literally just two guys who have each other’s backs.”
However, some fans were unimpressed with his take on the relationship and said there was nothing wrong with members of the LGBTQ community – or anyone else – looking to see representation on screen.
One tweeted: “We're already relevant. We just want to see that relevance represented in movies and television.”
Another posted: “Anthony Mackie, my man, I love you with all my heart but SamBucky is NOT that deep and there is nothing exploitive (sic) about respectfully shipping two characters. Yes bros being bros is important but good LGBT+ representation in comics and superhero film/tv is too.”
One person tweeted that the star might have worded his comments better, adding: “It’s totally not wrong for gay people to wish to see representation on the big screen, in the world’s biggest franchise.”
However, others said Mackie was entitled to his opinion on the subject.
One posted: “He’s literally just saying that he doesn’t see that in Sam and Bucky, and just sees a sincere friendship. There’s literally nothing wrong with that, everyone has their own opinions on things."
Another tweeted: “Mackie disagrees about SamBucky romance rumours because he thinks that men can be friends with an extremely sentimental connection. It's a completely valid opinion.”
“Basically he’s against the idea of Bucky and Sam in a relationship because he sees them more as friends - he NEVER said he was against homosexuality. He just worded his opinion wrong,” said another.
Yahoo has contacted representatives for Mackie for comment.
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