A few months ago, the rumors started again: Did Benedict Cumberbatch just out Sherlock as gay?! At issue was a comment the Sherlock star made on Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist podcast when comparing the great detective and another iconic British character, Doctor Who. “They’ve got different dress senses, different taste in the sex of their partners…,” the actor said.
Now, most would probably interpret that as a reference to Sherlock and The Doctor’s procedural partners on their respective shows: Dr. Watson is a man, while The Doctor’s companion is a woman. But some thought that Cumberbatch was hinting that Sherlock is gay, a misconception that’s the focus of plenty of online fanfiction, and that the show occasionally itself plays with. (See, for example, the season 3 fantasy scene above between Sherlock and Moriarty.)
Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat wants to set the record straight, so to speak, once and for all.
“We walk into that one all the time,” Moffat tells EW. “It’s a funny thing when a character for over 100 years has been saying, ‘I don’t do that at all.’ He’s been saying it over 100 years! He’s not interested in [sex]. He’s willfully staying away from that to keep his brain pure—a Victorian belief, that. But everyone wants to believe he’s gay. He’s not gay. He’s not straight. And Doctor Watson is very clear that he prefers women. People want to fantasize about it. It’s fine. But it’s not in the show.”
Wait, okay: So you’re saying he’s not straight…?
For more on Sherlock, check out last week’s deep-dive interview with Moffat teasing the upcoming season 4.