Riverdale executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has responded to actress Vanessa Morgan‘s recent social media posts about negative portrayals of Black people in media — including the very CW drama on which she is a series regular.
Morgan on Sunday posted that she is “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.”
The actress specifically addressed Riverdale two days later, writing, “Too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least. Girl I could go on for days.” She also defended Riverdale-turned-Katy Keene star Ashleigh Murray in a tweet, saying, “Maybe the show should write for [Josie] like the white characters.”
Morgan’s fans rallied on Twitter, getting #hearvanessamorgan to trend on Thursday. In response to the public outcry, Aguirre-Sacasa posted the following message to his social media accounts on Thursday night:
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“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. All of the Riverdale writers made a donation to [Black Lives Matter], but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writers’ room.”
Morgan joined Riverdale in its sophomore season as Toni Topaz, who soon became a love interest of Madelaine Petsch’s Cheryl Blossom, forming one of the show’s key couples. Morgan was promoted to series regular for Season 3.
See Aguirre-Sacasa’s full message, which Morgan retweeted, below: