‘Stranger Things’ star Caleb McLaughlin calls out ‘bigotry’ in show’s fandom

Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair in Season 4 of the Netflix hit, Stranger Things.  (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)

Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair in Season 4 of the Netflix hit stranger things. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)

from stranger things First becoming a streaming phenomenon in 2016, the Netflix show’s young cast is racing up that hill to global superstardom. But the actor didn’t always feel the love. Recently attended Heroes Comic Con in Belgium, stranger things Star Caleb McLaughlin – who plays one of the show’s few black characters, Lucas Sinclair – said he often felt he was treated differently from his white co-stars by fans of the show.

“It definitely took a toll on me as a little kid,” he said in comments that were captured on video and have since gone viral online. “My first Comic Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was black.”

McLaughlin clarified that some of the fan animosity directed at him in the show’s new season was related to Lucas’ early antagonistic relationship with Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown. But even after that storyline went away, he noticed that his character seemed to be less of a fan favorite than the rest of the cast.

“Even now, some people don’t follow me or support me because I’m black,” the 20-year-old actor said. “Sometimes in foreign countries, you’ll feel racism, you’ll feel bigotry and it’s something that’s hard to talk about and for people to understand. It definitely affected me a lot when I was younger. was.”

McLaughlin (far right) and the cast of Stranger Things.  (Photo: Tina Roden/Netflix)

McLaughlin (far right) and the artist stranger things. (Photo: Tina Roden/Netflix)

One area where McLaughlin sees a consistent difference is in the cast’s social media stats. He has 15.4 million followers on his own Instagram, compared to Brown’s 58.5 million or Noah Schnapp’s 27.6 million. “You’re like: ‘Why am I the least favorite? The least number of followers? I’m on the same show as everyone else from Season 1,'” she credits her mother and father for being honest with her. seen happened “My parents had to be like: ‘It’s a sad truth, but it’s because you’re the black kid on the show.’ [I thought] ‘Wow, that’s crazy. Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved?'”

McLaughlin’s comments echo those of other black artists in the genre space. Earlier this year, Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Moses Ingram Speaks Out About Racist Messages He’s Received From A Small But Vocal Minority Star Wars the fans Meanwhile, Prime Video’s hit fantasy series, The The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of PowerReview-bombed for diversifying JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

“We’re talking about a global show, and a global audience. It’s a reality now. It’s not about taking a narrow view,” Rings of Power star Cynthia Addai-Robinson told Yahoo Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year. “And for me it’s about inviting people in and being expansive. And if you’re going to tell this story in 2022, to me that’s the only way to tell it, the only way to represent it. And I think people are really hungry to see full representation in this world. Because at the end of the day this story is about people from different backgrounds coming together for a common cause. “

It is worth noting that after McLaughlin’s comments went viral, stranger things Fans are trying to spread the love for Lucas on Twitter.

This is the kind of positive reinforcement that the actor himself hopes to encourage. “With my platform, I’m going to spread positivity and love,” he told the Heroes Comic Con crowd. “I don’t hate people who hate me.”

stranger things Currently streaming on Netflix

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