J. August Richards from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has come out as gay.
On Monday, while chatting with his new Council of Dads costar Sarah Wayne Callies on Instagram Live, the actor opened up about his sexuality.
In the new NBC drama, Richards portrays Dr. Oliver Post, a happily married gay black man with a daughter. During his live chat with Callies, Richards explained that he felt it was important to be honest with his castmates about his own sexuality before taking on the role.
"If I think about why I even got involved in this industry, it was really to combat oppression," he explained. “I knew how I was affected by the people of color I saw on television, or that I didn’t see on television, so this being a married, gay man, with a family … on television, I don’t take anything I do lightly, and you have an opportunity to put an image into millions of homes. I wanted that image to be honest and I wanted it to be correct.”
“Honestly, it required me to show up fully in a way that I don’t always when I’m working," he said, before adding, “I knew that I could not portray this gay man honestly without letting you all know that I am a gay man myself. I’ve never done that with the people that I’ve worked with."
Richards concluded, "That responsibility carried me to do that because I knew how important it is to other people out there like me, who would need to see that role model."
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After coming out to his fans and followers, Richards shared a post on Tuesday, thanking everyone for their support and the "crushing avalanche of LOVE" he felt after opening up about his sexuality.
"Everyone said it would be but nothing could have prepared me. Yesterday was one of the best days of my life," he wrote on Instagram. " 'Thank you' feel like cheap words to describe the depths of the gratitude I feel for your support and the crushing avalanche of LOVE I felt aimed at me yesterday."
"Who knew that something I once thought of as terrifying had within it something so beautiful … For every comment, like, emoji, repost, phone call, text message, everything. I felt it ALL … Thank you!!! #PRIDE #LGBTQ #BlackLGBTQ#ComingOut #SelfLove#SelfAcceptance," Richards added, sharing a photo of himself decked out in Pride gear.
Callies later thanked her castmate for including her in his special moment, writing on Instagram, "sharing this moment with you was one of the most meaningful things in my life. love you friend."
Council of Dads airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.
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