‘Riverdale’ creator vows to ‘do better’ to honor Vanessa Morgan’s character but fans call it ‘damage control’

Several fans expressed concerns, after Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's apology, over the long-promised yet undelivered backstory of Toni Topaz, Morgan's character on the show


                            ‘Riverdale’ creator vows to ‘do better’ to honor Vanessa Morgan’s character but fans call it ‘damage control’
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Vanessa Morgan (Getty Images)

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the creator and executive producer of The CW’s teen drama ‘Riverdale’ issued an apology to star Vanessa Morgan on Friday, June 5. The apology came in the aftermath of Morgan's social media post voicing her frustration “of how black people are portrayed in the media” and calling out the popular The CW show for its lack of diversity.

In a statement posted on the social media platform, Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz on the popular series, wrote, “Tired of how black people are portrayed in the 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. 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.”

Aguirre-Sacasa took to Twitter to respond as well. He wrote, “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. We will do better to honor her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of color. Change is happening and will continue to happen. ‘Riverdale’ will get bigger, not smaller. ‘Riverdale’ will be part of the movement, not outside it.”

He added, “All of the Riverdale writers made a donation to @BLMLA, but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writers’ room.”

While many appreciated the ‘Riverdale’ creator accepting and addressing the grievances raised by Morgan, others were skeptical. A Twitter user wrote, “You made these promises about Toni before, and not followed through on them, but I hope all of this has opened your eyes that you can’t get away with that anymore, and this time really will be different. We, and the media now, will be waiting.”

Several fans expressed similar concerns over the long-promised yet undelivered backstory of Toni. Other fans brought up ‘Katy Keene’. The musical comedy-drama created by Aguirre-Sacasa as a ‘Riverdale’ spinoff. The titular character is played by Lucy Hale, who reprised her character from ‘Riverdale’. A fan said, “So now that y’all got Vanessa, let’s talk about how you essentially gave Lucy Hale the spinoff Ashleigh (Murray) was supposed to have with Josie and the Pussycats because you have not addressed that.”

Others still pointed out that this did little more than damage control after getting called out. A fan wrote, “LMAO your fans and your own people shouldn’t have to make a hashtag and scream to have their voices heard. You should’ve been listening to her from the start. This is damage control, and I still don’t f*** with you.”

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