Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa Responds To ‘Toxic’ Criticisms

by : Hannah Smith on : 19 Sep 2021 12:30
Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa Responds To 'Toxic' CriticismsAlamy/Netflix

Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa has spoken out about criticisms of Eric and Adam’s relationship, agreeing that it ‘hasn’t come from the healthiest beginnings.’

Despite having been severely bullied by him for much of the first season, season two ends with Eric choosing Adam over Rahim, and in season 3 the pair are officially together as a couple.


However, while some viewers are happy that the fan favourite character has found happiness, others have expressed disappointment at the development, pointing out that his relationship with Adam has been ‘toxic’ for the majority of the show.

Eric and Adam (Netflix)Netflix

Now, Gatwa has given his take on Eric and Adam’s history, telling E! News that while he agrees the pair’s relationship is complicated, he has tried to view the storyline from his character’s point of view.

Gatwa explained that rather than judging Eric’s decision, he tried to get into his character’s ‘mental space,’ which helped him to understand that ’16-year-olds don’t make the best decisions for themselves’ and ‘queer youth don’t have a blueprint for life.’


Yet despite feeling sympathy for Eric’s situation, Gatwa acknowledged he has mixed feelings about his relationship with Adam, saying that if Eric were a woman, ‘you would not be encouraging him to get with somebody that has beat him up for six years.’

Eric and Adam in Sex Education Season 3 (Netflix)Netflix

He also added that he felt Eric had previously been ‘stifling himself for the purpose of Adam’s growth,’ as the headmaster’s son wrestled with his own identity in seasons one and two.

However ultimately, Gatwa said he felt there was a strong ‘connection’ between the two characters that made the complexity of the relationship interesting to explore.


He said:

It’s a relationship of two people that really care about each other and have a connection with each other, but it hasn’t came from the healthiest beginnings, it has been a toxic relationship up until this point, and throughout season two as well.

It’s very bittersweet isn’t it? I don’t know that they ever get the happy moment, because I think they’re constantly still trying to figure out themselves, and trying to figure out how to be themselves with each other.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Film and TV, Netflix, Now, Sex Education, TV


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  1. E! News

    Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa Responds to Criticism of Eric and Adam's "Toxic" Relationship