Vanessa Morgan Speaks Out About Shows Sidelining Black Characters

Carolyn Twersky
Photo credit: Jack Rowand - The CW

From Seventeen

Vanessa Morgan is done being quiet. The Riverdale actress took to Twitter on Sunday, first to defend her former Riverdale costar and then to call out the media for its handling of black characters.

It all started when some troll tweeted about Ashleigh Murray, who plays Josie McCoy on the Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, referenced the dismissal of Josie's band, The Pussycats, which were not part of the show after the first season. "The pussycats were written off because @iamamurray is a known diva and didn't want to share the screen with other talented women. Even on Katy Keene she barely shares scenes with other women because she's a diva."

Photo credit: Twitter

Vanessa responded to the tweet, standing up for Ashleigh and calling out the use of the word "diva" as a way to criticize strong Black women.

"You don't know what the f*ck you're talking about and don't talk about my friend like that," she wrote. "Another thing I hate BLACK women being called DIVAS for sticking up for themselves."

She continued, saying, "Maybe the show should write for her like the white characters." This is most likely a dig at Riverdale, which doesn't have the most diverse cast. All the main characters are white and the Black characters don't get nearly as much screen time as them.

Vanessa than continued the conversation, writing, "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 side kick non-dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show. It starts in the media. I'm not being quiet anymore."

Again, Vanessa may be referencing Riverdale and her own character, Toni Topaz. Toni could be seen as the sidekick to Madelaine Petsch's character, Cheryl. It is very rare that Toni is in a scene without Cheryl and though Toni was bumped up to a series regular last season, we still know very little about her outside of her relationship with Cheryl.

Ashleigh, meanwhile, also responded to the tweet calling her a diva.

"Lol you clearly have me mixed up with someone else," she wrote. "I love the Pussycats more than any show ever did. If it were up to me, we'd have our own show. And you obviously don't watch Katy Keene because sis is surrounded by women. So f*ck all the way off."

And that, my friends, is how you shut it down.

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