The creator of The CW’s teen drama Riverdale, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, has said he agrees with actor Vanessa Morgan’s comments on lack of diversity at the show and in media in general. He has also vowed to do more for diversity on Riverdale.
Vanessa Morgan, who has played Toni Topaz in the hit comic book show since 2017, took to Twitter last Sunday to slam bosses at the hit teen drama for treating black actors as “sidekick non-dimensional characters to our white leads”.
She also followed up with a tweet a couple of days later, claiming that she’s “paid the least” out of all the actors on the series.
Her comments have come in response to the current Black Lives Matter protests that have sprung up across the nation in the wake of the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis.
Vanessa Morgan criticized Riverdale on Twitter
Morgan wrote that she was tired of black people being portrayed as thugs: “Tired of how black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people.”
She also added: “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.”
Her post has received over 3000 retweets and nearly 20 thousand likes.
— Vanessa Morgan (@VanessaMorgan) May 31, 2020
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said Riverdale would be part of the movement for change
On Thursday, Aguirre-Sacasa took to Instagram and Twitter to apologize directly to Morgan; he said she was right in her criticisms, and he promised to do more for diversity on the show.
He wrote: “We hear Vanessa. 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, he continued.
Aguirre-Sacasa also added that all the writers at Riverdale had made a donation to the Los Angeles branch of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Morgan’s fellow actor on Riverdale, Cole Sprouse, was arrested in Santa Monica last weekend while he was peacefully protesting for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Of the incident, Sprouse said: “It needs to be stated that as a straight white man and a public figure, the institutional consequences of my detainment are nothing in comparison to others within the movement.” He also said he didn’t want his arrest to draw attention away from the leaders of the Black Lives Matters movement.