Black people across the globe are speaking out against the injustices that they face in the streets and in the workplace amid the current Black Lives Matter protests. Amid companies calling for anti-racism, Riverdale actress Vanessa Morgan has spoken out about the injustices that she faced as the sole Black regular character on the beloved CW show.
Morgan immediately garnered support from fans following her statement as well as her castmates including Lili Reinhart and Asha Bromfield, who played Josie and the Pussycats bandmember Melody Valentine. However, The CW and executives on the series have remained silent until now.
Now, Riverdale’s creator, writer, and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has come forward to acknowledge the pain Morgan has endured and to apologize to her, vowing to do better.
Vanessa Morgan called ‘Riverdale’ out for making her the token Black character
On May 31, following in the footsteps of actresses like Gabrielle Union and Samantha Ware who have spoken out against racism and inequality, Morgan discussed her own experience. “Tired of how black people are portrayed in media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous, or angry scary people,” she wrote on Twitter. “Tired of us also being used as sidekick non-dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show.”
Later, Morgan who plays Toni Topaz on Riverdale called out The CW and the series specifically. “Another thing i hate BLACK women being called DIVAS for sticking up for themselves,” she said. “Maybe the show should write for her like the white characters. I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least.”
Vanessa Morgan’s ‘Riverdale’ castmates support her
Though many people were initially horrified when they thought Morgan was having issues with the Riverdale cast, that was squashed immediately. Reinhart tweeted, “We love you, V. And support you 10000%.”
The 28-year-old also clarified that her beef was with the writers and creators. “My role on Riverdale has nothing to do with my fellow castmates/friends. They don’t write the show,” Morgan said. “So no need to attack them, they don’t call the shots & I know they have my back.”
The Canadian actress’ former co-star Hayley Law also chimed in on Morgan’s tweet. “I’ve felt this from the beginning. We are so much more,” she wrote.
‘Riverdale’s creator just apologized to Vanessa Morgan
Morgan has since vowed to stop taking roles that don’t fully represent Black people. Now, creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has come forward to apologize to Morgan, vowing to do better.
“We hear Vanessa,” Aguirre-Sacasa said in a post on Instagram. “We love Vanessa. She’s right. We’re sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her. We will do better to honor her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of color. Change is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it. We know where the work must happen for us. In the writer’s room.”