'Riverdale' Star Vanessa Morgan Calls Out Series for Making Black Characters Sidekicks

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Vanessa Morgan is speaking out about black representation in media, specifically calling out her series, Riverdale. The 28-year-old actress, who plays south sider Toni Topaz on the CW teen drama, got candid in a post on Twitter. 

"Tired of how black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people," she wrote. "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."

When one commenter replied, "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," referencing her character's relationship with Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) on the show. 

Morgan replied, "Lmao too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least girl i could go on for days."

Morgan later added, "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."

ET has reached out to The CW and Warner Brothers for comment on Morgan's tweets. 

Morgan's Riverdale co-star, Asha Bromfield, who played Melody Valentine, a member of Josie and the Pussycats, replied, "Don't even get me started with how Riverdale treated the Pussycats. We had so much more to contribute than standing in the background and adding sass to a storyline. I stand with you @VanessaMorgan."

Lili Reinhart, who plays Riverdale main character Betty Cooper, also replied, writing, "We love you, V. And support you 10000%."

British actress Ashley Madekwe, who has appeared on hit shows like Revenge and Salem, also replied to Morgan's post, writing, "'Only used in the ads for diversity' Yeah, definitely been there."

Morgan's co-star, Cole Sprouse, also told his followers earlier this week that he had been arrested with a "group of peaceful protesters" in Santa Monica.

People have been inspired to speak out and protest across the country and around the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Floyd was a 46-year-old black man and father who died after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. 

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