The most important part of allyship is a willingness to listen and learn — and Josh Hutcherson just proved that, once again, he’s an ally to the core.
In this case, the gays had to let the Hunger Games actor in on a little known secret: in the past few months, he’s become a massive meme.
For the uninitiated, the so-called “Whistle” meme is straightforward, if a bit random. It originates from a 2014 YouTube video posted by a Hutcherson fan, in which pics and clips of the actor play over the song “Whistle” by Flo Rida (well, technically the video is set to a cover of the song by Joel Merry, which only adds to the camp factor). The video has since amassed more than 11 million views.
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The “Whistle” video has taken on the same role as “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, with seemingly unrelated videos giving way to pictures of Hutcherson’s face and that instantly recognizable hook. Even the White House got in on the action, with the official Democratic Party’s TikTok account posting a version of the meme featuring Joe Biden.
Though the trend began months ago, Hutcherson only just learned that the video exists — he’s not on social media, he says. Instead, he heard about the meme from his younger brother, Connor Hutcherson, and his boyfriend.
“Over the holidays, my brother and his boyfriend were like, ‘We need to sit you down and explain to you what’s happening online,’” Hutcherson explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “And so they gave me a rundown. They showed me all these videos and we were all laughing about it.”
“I love it. It’s great,” Hutcherson continued. “Somebody said it became, like, the new rickroll… I’m like, this is just wild and I don’t know why.”
Though Hutcherson’s teachable moment is undeniably wholesome, it’s the mention of his gay brother that’s sent fans into a frenzy. Some are excited to learn that Hutcherson is an ally, while others are now picturing themselves joining the Hutcherson family by getting with Connor (assuming his current boyfriend wouldn’t mind).
his brother’s WHAT???? pic.twitter.com/Kl5JQx1MJU— ras ali (@rasalistair) January 10, 2024
HIS BOYFRIEND pic.twitter.com/sxFSuFwWdl— Kach_i (@Ochiagha_) January 10, 2024
BROTHER??? HIS BOYFRIEND??? U MEAN I HAVE A CHANCE???— 🌟Hayden🌟 | Shake It Off Showdown! Creator (@Goodlacker123) January 10, 2024
Hutcherson’s love and support for the LGBTQ+ community is far from news, though. The actor has long been an advocate for queer rights, even joining the Straight But Not Narrow campaign back in 2011 to encourage allyship from straight people. (His video for the campaign is adorable, by the way — check it out.)
Hutcherson also received GLAAD’s Vanguard Award for LGBTQ+ allyship in 2012, becoming the youngest recipient to date at 19 years old.
More die-hard fans of Hutcherson were quick to point these facts out, shutting down people who were surprised to hear of his ties to the queer community.
The moral of the story? Hutcherson is a national treasure, even if he’s chronically offline, and he makes a damn good meme. As he put it to ET, “I don’t get it, but I’m here for it.”
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