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Stranger Things star speaks out against racist fans

Stranger Things star speaks out against racist fans

"I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me."

Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas in Netflix's Stranger Things, has spoken out about the vitriolic racism he has experienced as one of the few Black members of the cast on the successful horror show.

Speaking at the Heroes Comic Con convention in Belgium on 25 September, McLaughlin said that he slowly noticed that he was being treated differently to his castmates by the fans of Stranger Things, and this started when he was only 14 years old. "It affected me," he admitted. "At my first Comic Con, some people wouldn't stand in my line because I was Black. Some people told me that 'I didn't love you because you were mean to Eleven [played by Millie Bobby Brown].'"

The actor, now 20 years old, noted that he is often subject to more severe racism in other countries, and that his own social media following is less than that of his white co-stars. Indeed, viewers of the show have realised that Lucas' characterisation causes him to be the voice of antagonism in the story - he dips out of the Dungeons & Dragons games in favour of playing basketball because he doesn't want to be a "loser" anymore. This is framed as a problem, that Lucas is abandoning his friends for popularity. Given that this is a child who was attacked for being Black by season three villain Billy Hargroves, it makes sense that Lucas would want to avoid anything that would make him be a target for bullying and unpleasantness from racist individuals.

"Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I'm not loved," continued McLaughlin. "With my platform, I want to spread positivity and love because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me."

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, TV And Film, no article matching