Twenty-year-old Lucas’ impersonator Caleb McLaughlin said in an interview at Heroes Comic Con that he encountered racism on the part of the show’s fans. He is one of the few black actors in the cast. The recording of the panel was published on social media by one of the participants of the convention.
Inequalities measured by popularity
McLaughlin joined the cast of Stranger Things as a fourteen-year-old. He is one of the five original main characters, children – teenagers today – following the paranormal phenomena in Hawkins Town. Although the scenario focuses on Eleven with superpowers, the plots of the other characters are treated equally. Finn Wolfhard (Mike from the series), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Noah Schnapp (Will), however, enjoy much more popularity than Caleb, which translates, among others, into on the number of followers on Instagram. It’s a fact – Schnapp and Wolfhard are close to having 30 million fans, while McLaughlin has 15 million fans. The actor noticed this dependence early in the production.
I asked my parents why I was the least liked when I was playing on the same show as everyone else. They had to answer me, “It’s a sad truth, but that’s because you’re the only black kid in this show.”
– recalls Caleb in an interview at the Heroes Comic Con in Brussels.
The comments affected the actor’s psyche
The actor also believes that unequal treatment by some fans “took a toll on him.”
I remember my first Comic-Con so that some people didn’t want to line up for me because I was black.
He told fans at a convention in Belgium. He added that he himself asked fans why they avoided him during meet and greet meetings. They did not mention skin color as the reason. They explained it was because he “was mean to Eleven,” referring to Lucas’ initial hostility in season one to the character played by Millie Bobby Brown. McLaughlin says people still avoid him at Stranger Things promotion events. – Even now, some people don’t support me because I’m black. Feel racism and ferocity, he decided. He also revealed that it is difficult for outsiders to understand the significance and importance of this problem, and they are also unable to talk about it. He found, however, that he was now able to deal with the hidden reluctance of fans better than he was when he was younger.
Diversity in “Stranger Things” – is it Enough?
Despite the very good reception of the series and the introduction of characters representing various social groups, “Stranger Things” has faced accusations of pushing black heroes into the background. One of the black fans of the series, Kadie, in an interview for BBC Newsbeat explains that she understands Caleb’s regret.
I wish this was new, but for the black community, it’s something we deal with all the time. At one point you are sad and angry, but then you shrug your shoulders because it’s a repeat for you. You feel bad about the actor and realize that this is reality.
– she said. Kadie, 21, believes greater variety among the cast could solve the problem. he did not respond to the Times’ request for comment on the matter.