“Riverdale” creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has apologized to actress Vanessa Morgan following her criticism of portrayals of black people in the media, including on The CW series.
“We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She’s right,” Aguirre-Sacasa said in a statement tweeted Thursday. “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.”
The executive producer added: “All of the ‘Riverdale’ writers made a donation to @BLMLA, but we know where the work must happen for us. in the writers’ room.”
Aguirre-Sacasa’s statement was issued in response to a post Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz on “Riverdale,” tweeted Sunday that 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 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 quite [sic] anymore.”
Two days later, Morgan responded to a fan who said they thought she should be making “double” her paycheck due to the fact she’s “double the diversity” for “Riverdale,” given that Toni is an LGBTQ character and love interest of Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch).”
“Lmao too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least,” Morgan tweeted. “girl I could go on for days.”
The actress also called out “Riverdale’s” treatment of Ashleigh Murray’s Josie — who moved over to spinoff “Katy Keene” this season — tweeting, “Maybe the show should write for her like the white characters.”
Support for Morgan’s statement led to “#hearvanessamorgan” trending on Twitter Thursday.
Morgan joined “Riverdale” in Season 2 and was promoted to series regular for Season 3. “Riverdale” has been renewed for Season 5, which is slated to premiere in January, along with the majority The CW’s new and returning series that have been held due to pandemic-forced production shutdowns.
See Aguirre-Sacasa’s statement below.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) June 5, 2020