In the wake of George Floyd’s death that sparked unrest, Vanessa Morgan is speaking her truth about how “Riverdale” refuses to give black characters main storylines. She further revealed that she was the least paid among the regular cast members of the show.
Morgan, who played Toni Topaz opposite Madelaine Petsch’s Cheryl, broke her silence about the matter and aired her sentiments on Twitter, where she expressed frustration about how black people are painted as “thugs, dangerous or angry scary people.”
“Tired of us also being used as side kick non dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show. It starts with the media. I’m not being quiet anymore (sic),” Morgan wrote on Sunday (May 31).
Morgan also revealed a pay disparity among her and her other costars. Along with Morgan, Cami Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa top bill “Riverdale.”
“Lmao too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least. girl i could go on for days (sic),” Morgan tweeted.
Morgan further explained what she meant by her earlier statement in a separate tweet and said it was actually addressed to “Riverdale” as a show and not the other cast members. This was after a social media user pointed out that her character’s story arc is a representation of the LGBTQ community.
E! News reported that she wrote that it “has nothing to do with my fellow classmates/friends. They don’t write the show. So no need to attack them, they don’t call the shots & I know they have my back.” Reinhart, meanwhile, expressed support for her co-star.
Furthermore, Morgan slammed the CW series for using her as “the token biracial bisexual” in the show. However, the hole seems to be deeper as Asha Bromfield, who is one of Josie and the Pussycats members, Melody Jones, also spoke out about “Riverdale’s” treatment of the group.
“We had so much more to contribute than standing in the background and adding sass to a storyline. I stand with you @VanessaMorgan,” Bromfield said.
Morgan has been with “Riverdale” since Season 2 and she became a series regular in starting Season 3. Production for the fifth run is scheduled to begin this summer.