'Riverdale' Creator Apologizes To Vanessa Morgan, Vows To Do Better By Her, Other 'Actors of Color'
Photo Credit: S & A

'Riverdale' Creator Apologizes To Vanessa Morgan, Vows To Do Better By Her, Other 'Actors of Color'

Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is issuing an apology and says he will do better in regards to diversity efforts after the show was called out on Twitter by its sole Black series regular, Vanessa Morgan.

We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She’s right,” he wrote in a statement that was posted on social media. 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. All of the Riverdale writers made a donation to @BLMLA, but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writer’s room.”

Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz, has been a series regular since the series’ third season. She became the show’s second series regular after Ashleigh Murray, who left the show last season for its spinoff, Katy Keene, which is also from Aguirre-Sacasa. She first joined as a recurring cast member in season 2. Both Morgan and Murray’s characters have often been in the background of the show’s larger storylines and don’t get the same character development as their white counterparts. Aguirre-Sacasa is also the creator of Riverdale’s pseudo-spinoff, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which has also received criticism for sidelining its Black characters.

The Tanzanian Canadian actress opened up on Twitter about how dissatisfied she was with the way Black people are portrayed in the media. She wrote, Tired of how black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people. 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.”

While she didn’t specifically refer to Riverdale by name in her first statement, initial tweets confirmed she was talking about the show. Someone tweeted her, saying, Imagine they’re getting so much more bang for their buck bc ur part of an lgbt storyline too, double the diversity – DOUBLE UR PAYCHECK IMO.” The actress responded, Too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least. Girl I could go on for days.”

Morgan’s statements were co-signed by Murray, Hayley Law and Asha Bromfield, who comprised of the show’s Josie & The Pussycats. The group was written off before Murray departed the show for Katy Keene. She also defended Murray in response to a tweet that said the latter was a diva and is the reason for the rest of the Pussycats getting written off the show. You don’t know what the f**k your talking about and don’t talk about my friend like that,” she wrote. “Another thing i hate BLACK women being called DIVAS for sticking up for themselves. Maybe the show should write for her like the white characters. You picked the wrong day get off my page.”

After she began to make headlines for her tweets, including the hashtag #HearVanessaMorgan trending on Twitter, the actress addressed her Black fans. To my Black fans, I have now made it my purpose to fight for us. To the six year old me who had no role model that looked like me on TV. This is for you. We aren’t your token black non dimensional characters. This is being Black in Hollywood. I will fight for YOU,” she said. And I will no longer take roles that don’t properly represent us. PERIOD.”



‘Riverdale’ Star Vanessa Morgan Slams Series’ Treatment Of Black Actors, Says She’s The Least-Paid Star


Photo: Getty

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.