‘Riverdale’ star Vanessa Morgan criticizes the show’s black storylines
Protests worldwide have continued to take place in support of Black Lives Matter and the demand for change following the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Now, Riverdale star Vanessa Morgan is using her platform to spread awareness about the institutional racism found in Hollywood.
In a note shared on social media this week, the actress calls out Riverdale's involvement in the treatment of black actors. Since sharing the post, other Riverdale actors are speaking out, too.
After a series of production shutdowns due to coronavirus, Riverdale recently wrapped its fourth season. Morgan, who plays reformed bad girl Toni Topaz, became a series regular in season three. Now, Morgan is using her platform to address the problems she has faced in Hollywood.
Showing her support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Morgan took to Twitter to share that she is tired of how black people are portrayed in the media.
Although Morgan is a series regular, her character of Toni Topaz tends to be involved in more side plots alongside her fellow castmates. More specifically, the majority of her scenes pertain to being the girlfriend of Cheryl Blossom (played by Madelaine Petsch).
Riverdale fans quickly responded to Morgan's post in which the actress opened up further about the inequality she has faced on the show. One of the biggest details she revealed is that she is paid the least out of the series regulars.
Morgan is the only black series regular on Riverdale. As she shared in another tweet, she feels that Toni Topaz is used as a token character to try and appeal to other audiences.
Asha Bromfield who played Melody Jones brought up the issues regarding the Pussycats, the all-black female musical group on the show. She believes that the Pussycats don't get the credit or screentime they deserve and are only used as a way to add sassy characters to storylines. Morgan showed her support for the comment with two black heart emojis.Don't even get me started with how Riverdale treated the Pussycats," Bromfield tweets. "We had so much more to contribute than standing in the background and adding sass to a storyline. I stand with you @VanessaMorgan."
Ashleigh Murray who now plays Pussycats' Josie McCoy on the Riverdale spinoff series Katy Keene (starring Lucy Hale) also spoke out about how she's been treated. She hopes that as more actors speak out, equal treatment will begin to happen in Hollywood.
Some began to attack Morgan's fellow Riverdale actors due to the inequality she has faced. However, the actress quickly said that the problems she deals with have nothing to do with the actors she works alongside.Riverdale
Lili Reinhart who plays Betty Cooper tweeted her support for Morgan.
For Morgan, she wants to use her platform and role on Riverdale as an outlet to fight for the Black community. As someone who saw a lack of representation on TV growing up, Morgan wants to use her acting to bring multi-dimensional and impactful characters to Hollywood.
According to a 2019 "Hollywood Diversity" report from the University of California, Los Angeles, only 2 out of every 10 lead actors in scripted television broadcast series during the 2016-2017 season were people of color.
Riverdale stars have been showing their support for the Black Lives Movement protests happening worldwide. Cole Sprouse who plays Jughead Jones recently revealed that he was arrested while protesting this week. He shared what he saw during the protests and what everyone can do to support the BLM movement.
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