Vanessa Morgan Calls Out ‘Riverdale’ for Treating Black Characters as ‘Sidekicks’

Vanessa Morgan Riverdale
Dean Buscher/The CW

Vanessa Morgan is speaking out against Riverdale‘s portrayal of black characters and pay parity for people of color.

On Sunday, May 31, the actress, who plays Toni Topaz on the CW drama, took to Twitter to voice her grievances over the handling of non-white roles in popular culture, hinting heavily at her own Archie Comics-inspired series. “I’m not being Quite[sic] anymore. ✊🏽 #BlackLivesMatter,” she wrote alongside a photo that conveyed a longer and more pointed message.

“Tired of how black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people,” the photo reads. “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 quiet anymore.”

Since the tweet went out, replies to Morgan’s words have flooded in and one particular reply caught the actress’ attention leading her to clarify her statements further. When a fan noted that Morgan also portrays one of the show’s few LGBTQ+ representative characters, Morgan responded, “too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least.”

As she mentions, Morgan is the only African American series regular following the exit of former star Ashleigh Murray who moved to the network’s spinoff series Katy Keene. Following these candid remarks, Morgan added that she doesn’t blame her costars for the inequality shown to cast members of color, asking fans to refrain from attacking the stars on social media.

“My role on Riverdale has nothing to do with my fellow castmates/friends. They don’t write the show,” she tweeted. “So no need to attack them, they don’t call the shots & I know they have my back.”

The CW has yet to release a response to Morgan’s statements, but the network did share their support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter on May 31. “We stand with our black colleagues, storytellers and fans — and all affected by senseless violence. Your voices matter, your message matters. #BlackLivesMatter.”

Stay tuned for any updates regarding a response to Morgan’s tweets.

Riverdale, Season 5, TBA, The CW