Model and Actor Broderick Hunter on How to Be a Good Ally

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Broderick Hunter feels like one lucky guy. The longtime model got his first big acting break on one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed television shows in recent memory: HBO’s Insecure. He was able to learn from Issa Rae, the series’ creator and star, and one of many black women powerhouses he admires, including Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, and Lena Waithe.

On the Insecure set, Broderick watched as women made all the big decisions. It was quite a change from his modeling days, where male directors and photographers tended to run the show.

“It was extremely humbling,” said Broderick of his time on the HBO series, adding that he looks forward to working for more women — especially in this current social climate, where the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are taking men to task for bad behavior, and where women feel empowered to speak up.

Bumble caught up with Broderick in between New York Fashion Week events about the importance of being a good ally to both women and the LGBTQ community.

On men holding each other accountable to support women

“I’m a firm advocate of calling each other out...I really do feel like we as men can do our part in treating women better, and acting better. If guys aren’t checking other guys and saying, ‘hey, bro, that’s not cool,’ or if we’re not being open enough to receive a critique, then it’s going to be a dying cause.

When it comes from a male checking another male, it resonates in a completely different way. I truly feel that it’s got to start with us checking ourselves. As guys we have to start calling each other out if we’re going to see a difference. Hopefully in time it’ll be better. That’s where it’s got to start, in my opinion.”

On being a visible LGBTQ ally

“With straight males, there’s a lot of ‘over-masculinity’ happening. Some guys think it’s confusing to see two guys or two girls being in love. I don’t think love has anything to do with gender. I feel like whatever love is, however it comes, is just organic energy that two people exchange where they feel the same amount of love or respect for each other. I feel like a lot of straight men especially haven’t gotten that through their heads yet.

I have so many gay friends who’ve been part of my life in amazing ways. They’ve made the biggest impact on my life. I’m not thinking about whether or not they’re straight or gay. I’m just saying, ‘you love me and I love you. I have the same amount of love for you as you have for me.’ That’s what love is.

On living life in the public eye

“When you get into fashion and entertainment you’re exposed to the masses. You’re getting the bigots, you’re getting people who support you, you’re getting the neutral people. You’re getting all of that.

I’ve had to learn how to really understand that my life is exposed right now, especially with social media. Everyone sees who you’re associating with. When I’m out with people, I’m not thinking, ‘how might this look?’ I already know who my people are. I know my intentions.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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CareerCaitlin Ryan