‘Stranger Things’ Star Caleb McLaughlin Calls Out Racism From Fans
Four seasons into Stranger Things, star Caleb McLaughlin is opening up about the struggles he’s had during his time on the popular Netflix series, namely courtesy of racism from some of the fans themselves.
At the Heroes Comic-Con Belgium convention on Sunday, September 25, McLaughlin, who plays Lucas Sinclair, was asked about the recent overt racism some viewers of shows like House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings have displayed.
His reply will break your heart:
“It definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid,” he said. “My very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black. 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.
He continued, “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.”
See the video below from a fan who attended the panel.
— Heroes Comic Con Belgium (@HComicConBE) September 25, 2022
After the first season aired and was a roaring success, the now-20-year-old didn’t understand why he was less popular than his white costars and asked his parents for clarity. “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 continued.
But McLaughlin is wise beyond his years. He refused to return the negativity, noting “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.”
Stranger Things, Seasons 1-4, Streaming Now, Netflix