Go off. Vanessa Morgan slammed Riverdale for making black characters “sidekicks” and paying her the “least” compared to her white costars. The actress, who’s played Toni Topaz since season 2 of The CW drama, took to her Twitter on Sunday, May 31, to criticize the series’ portrayal of black characters.
“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 sidekick non dimensional characters to our white leads,” she wrote. “Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show.”
Two days later, on Tuesday, June 2, Morgan responded to a fan who noted that her character is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. “Lmao too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least 😂👏🏽 girl i could go on for days 🐸,” Morgan tweeted.
The actress went on to explain that Toni is often “used as the token biracial bisexual.” After her comments, some fans criticized Morgan’s white cast members, who include Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse, for not speaking out against the inequality on set. In response to the criticism, Morgan explained that her cast members have nothing to do with how her character is written on the show.
“My role on Riverdale has nothing to do with my fellow castmates/friends,” she tweeted. “They don’t write the show. So no need to attack them, they don’t call the shots & I know they have my back. ♥️”
Morgan’s tweets come after she defended her black Riverdale costar Ashleigh Murray, who left the series after season 3 to star in its spinoff, Katy Keene. When a user accused Murray, who plays Josie McCoy, of being a “diva,” Morgan responded: “You don’t know what the fuck your talking about and don’t talk about my friend like that. Another thing i hate BLACK women being called DIVAS for sticking up for themselves. Maybe the show should write for her like the white characters. You picked the wrong day get off my page.”
Murray also clapped back at the user, denying that she’s the reason that Josie and the Pussycats were phased out of Riverdale after a couple seasons. “If it were up to me, we’d have our own show,” she tweeted, adding that she loves Josie and the Pussycats “more than any show did.”
Murray continued, “And you obviously don’t watch Katy Keene because sis is surrounded by women. So fuck all the way off.”