Vanessa Morgan, who stars on The CW’s hit teen drama, Riverdale, is using her platform to call the series, and the industry at-large, out for its treatment of Black actors and characters.

Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz, has been a series regular since the series’ third season. She first joined as a recurring cast member in season 2. In the most recent season, out of nearly 15 series regulars, she was the only Black actor. Ashleigh Murray starred in the series as Josie McCoy in the first three seasons before moving to spinoff series, Katy Keene. 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.

Morgan issued a tweet on Sunday which said, “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.”

She confirmed that she was talking about Riverdale on Tuesday when 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.”

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. She wrote, “You don’t know what the f**k your talking about and don’t talk about my friend like that. 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.”

Morgan also tweeted, “My role on Riverdale has nothing to do with my fellow castmates/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.” Her co-stars sent her messages of support as well. Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, said, “We love you, V. And support you 10000%.”

Former Riverdale stars Hayley Law and Asha Bromfield, who playd Josie & The Pussycats members Valerie and Melody, also weighed in:


Ashleigh Murray Defends ’13 Reasons Why’ Star Grace Saif After Bullying, Speaks Out About Racist Attacks From ‘Riverdale’ Fans


Photo: The CW