The creator of Riverdale has apologised to star Vanessa Morgan after she raised concerns about pay disparity in the show.
Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz in the show, said in a recent series of tweets that she was “tired” of black characters being shown as “thugs, dangerous or angry, scary people,” adding that she was “the only black series regular but paid the least”.
Morgan continued: “To my black fans, I have now made it my purpose to fight for us. To the six year old me who had no role model that looked like me on TV. This is for you.
“We aren’t your token black non dimensional characters. This is being black in Hollywood. I will fight for YOU. And I will no longer take roles that don’t properly represent us. PERIOD.”
— Vanessa Morgan (@VanessaMorgan) May 31, 2020
The show’s writer and creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has now publicly apologised to Morgan, writing: “We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She’s right. We’re sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her.”
He continued: “We will do better to honour her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of colour.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) June 5, 2020
“Change is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.
“All of the Riverdale writers have made a donation to @BLMLA, but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writers’ room.”
During her series of tweets, Morgan asked fans not to attack her co-stars on the show for the issues, saying: “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.”
Morgan’s tweets came as widespread protests continue in the United States and across the world following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week (May 25).