Avengers star Anthony Mackie has opened up about those Sam and Bucky romance rumours in a brand new interview.

Sitting down with Variety, the Falcon and Winter Soldier actor seemingly shut down speculations that Sam and Bucky are romantically involved.

“So many things are twisted and convoluted. There’s so many things that people latch on to with their own devices to make themselves relevant and rational,” he said.

“The idea of two guys being friends and loving each other in 2021 is a problem because of the exploitation of homosexuality. It used to be guys can be friends, we can hang out, and it was cool.

“You can’t do that anymore, because something as pure and beautiful as homosexuality has been exploited by people who are trying to rationalize themselves.”

Mackie went on to explain that it was very important for him to showcase a “sensitive masculine figure” having emotional conversations.

“There’s nothing more masculine than being a superhero and flying around and beating people up,” he said. “But there’s nothing more sensitive than having emotional conversations and a kindred spirit friendship with someone that you care about and love.”

Kari Skogland, who directed the season one finale of the show, echoed a similar sentiment about the relationship between Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes and Mackie’s Falcon.

“It’s really love, right? They love each other — at the end,” she said. “They don’t love each other at the beginning, but they come to a friendship place where they love each other. So I’m not really sensitive to masculinity as any kind of barrier between that love, or how it should manifest.

“I’m completely fluid when it comes to any of that. So there’s no defined sexuality to any of it. So it’s, really, I think, just affection.”

Throughout the run of the first season, fans of the series had shipped the two characters together.

Viewers pointed out the undeniable sexual chemistry between Bucky and Sam due to their aggressiveness towards each other. We all saw that therapy session, didn’t we?

Since the release of Mackie’s interview, fans of the series have taken to Twitter and expressed their thoughts on his opinions.

One user wrote: “TL is dragging Anthony Mackie why did he have to say 4 paragraphs instead of saying “it’s cute!” and keep it moving.”

Another fan tweeted: “Did Anthony Mackie pull a “why can’t guys be friends without it being gay” on sambucky?”

Even though our Sam and Bucky ship is tarnished, we do have some type of LGBTQ+ representation in the forthcoming MCU releases.

At the end of 2020, it was announced that America Chavez, who made history as Marvel’s first Latin-American LGBTQ+ character, would be making her live-action debut in the MCU.

Portrayed by Xochitl Gomez, the character will star alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Not only that – Thor: Love and Thunder will finally explore Valkryie’s sexuality. The warrior, played by Tessa Thompson, will reportedly search for “her queen” in the highly-anticipated third sequel.

Eternals will also boast a gay male superhero who is married and with a family.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now available on Disney+.