Yes, I'm counting you to write " LOL MCSHAY'S A PEDOPHILE!". I just hope there's enough reasonable people on here to have a decent discussion.
As someone who loved The Last of Us and gave it my personal game of the year, the DLC helped me acknowledged the main game's flaws. With Joel's absence, the DLC had imagination, personality and context to the stealth action the main game never had. For example, using echolocation stealth for a water-gun fight is something I would never expect any company to do unless their IP sells 3+ million copies first.
The main game felt like "clear a hallway full of enemies and then watch a cutscene". I'm not suggesting the player should have agency over the story, but the player is only able to communicate with a gun (much like Gordon Freeman and Booker Dewitt). The combat is great and the story is great, but the two often feel forced together.
I don't think Joel was entirely a bad person and I don't think his inclusion in the main game was inherently wrong, but he does conveniently line up with the interests of mainstream typical AAA meathead-loving gamers that wouldn't give any game that tried to get too creative a chance. Joel was fearless in a scary world. Joel was overwhelmingly strong in a world that is supposed to overwhelm the player.
I don't agree with McShea that Joel was unrelateable or an awful person but Joel is a tried-and-true recipe and while there's way more depth to him than the average meathead action hero, his inclusion did make the game more of a "guy pummeling dozens of zombies to get to the next level" than it should've been.