“What I admire about Harry Styles is that he’s a very classy man, and he’s very well-rounded,” Bassett, 20, said in the interview. “He’s just cool. ... Who doesn’t think Harry Styles is cool? Also, he’s hot, you know?”
“He’s very charming, too,” he added. “Lots of things. I guess this is also my coming out video.”
A snippet of the Clevver News interview comprising Bassett’s remarks has garnered more than 2 million views, though many fans were divided on whether or not the actor was being sincere.
“It’s funny to me how serious people are taking this,” one person wrote. “To me, it felt like he was just joking because of how much people obsess over Harry Styles.” Added another, “I think it’s refreshing that it was in casual conversation instead of it being a big announcement.”
By Tuesday afternoon, Bassett posted a short video of himself performing an acoustic version of an as-yet-unreleased song to his social media accounts, along with statement expanding on his earlier comments.
“My entire life people have told me my sexuality,” he wrote. “People have shamed me for things they know nothing about. I want to say thank you to those of you who stand for love and acceptance.”
The actor notably did not align himself with traditional labels like “gay” or “bisexual.” Later in the note, he added, “Love who you love shamelessly. It’s ok to still be figuring out who you are. Life’s too short to let ignorance and hatred win. I choose love.”
Bassett, who released his debut EP in March, has been romantically linked with “Girl Meets World” actor Sabrina Carpenter in recent months. His personal life has been the subject of media scrutiny following the release of his Disney+ co-star Olivia Rodrigo’s smash single, “Drivers License.”
Many interpreted the lyrics of “Drivers License” to be a thinly veiled ode to a supposed real-life romance between Bassett and Rodrigo, who play a teen couple on “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
Bassett, however, has brushed off those rumors. “I get why people are asking about that stuff — but it doesn’t really get to me,” he told BuzzFeed in March. “I’m also just proud of [Rodrigo] and the success that her song is having. I really couldn’t be mad at the situation.”