Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin has gotten candid about the racism he’s received from fans over the years and how it has impacted him.
In 2016, the world was introduced to what has become one of the biggest phenomenons ever to hit Netflix.
The series quickly became a fan favorite and turned the main characters into household names. While the show has had a positive impact on the cast since its release, McLaughlin, who plays Lucas Sinclair on the hit series, hasn’t received the same love and adoration from fans over the years.
Caleb McLaughlin's career has taken a different turn than his 'Stranger Things' co-stars.
As reported IndieWire, McLaughlin addressed the racism he faced as a child during the first season of Netflix’s Stranger Things during Heroes Comic Con Belgium.
“Why am I the least favorite? [Have] the least amount of followers?” McLaughlin said as part of a “deep conversation” during the panel. “I’m on the same show as everybody from Season 1.”
Although he has starred alongside Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, and Gaten Matarazzo, and Millie Bobby Brown since Season 1, McLaughlin has never been viewed as a fan favorite, which he says "definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid.”
“My very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black,” McLaughlin said. “Some people told me, ‘Oh I didn’t want to be in your line because you were mean to Eleven.’ Even now some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m Black. Sometimes overseas you feel the racism, you feel the bigotry. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about and for people to understand, but when I was younger it definitely affected me a lot.”
Despite the ongoing hate he receives, McLaughlin uses his platform to spread positivity and light.
Even though he is often faced with negativity and hate, McLaughlin doesn’t reciprocate those feelings because he wants to use his platform to spread “positivity and love.”
“My parents had to be like, ‘It’s a sad truth, but it’s because you’re the Black child on the show…Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved," he said.
“But that’s why with my platform I want to spread positivity and love because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me.”