'Riverdale': Toni Topaz Star Vanessa Morgan Blasts Show for Its Treatment of Black Characters

With Black Lives Matter protests taking place all over the U.S. in response to the killing of George Floyd, a number of black TV stars have been discussing how people of color are treated in the entertainment industry. The latest to do so is Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz on The CW's Riverdale. In a set of tweets, the actor criticized the treatment of her character.

Morgan joined the show as Cheryl Blossom's (played by Madeleine Petsch) love interest and leader of girl gang The Pretty Poisons in Season 2. She is currently the only African American series regular on The CW show.

On May 31, the actor posted an image on Twitter that read: "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 use in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show. It starts with the media. I'm not being quite anymore."

I’m not being Quite anymore. ✊🏽 #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/JXgJic4mrR

— Vanessa Morgan (@VanessaMorgan) May 31, 2020

Lmao too bad I’m the only black series regular but also paid the least 😂👏🏽 girl i could go on for days 🐸

— Vanessa Morgan (@VanessaMorgan) June 2, 2020

In a reply to a fan, Morgan called out Riverdale specifically on June 2, writing: "Lmao too bad I'm the only black series regular but also paid the least. girl i could go on for days"

This was followed up by another tweet reading: "My role on Riverdale has nothing to do with my fellow castmates/friends. They don't write the show. So no need to attack them, they don't call the shots & I know they have my back."

In fact, one of her cast-mates tweeted in support of the Toni Topaz actor. Betty Cooper actor Lili Reinhart replied to Morgan's message: "We love you, V. And support you 10000%."

We love you, V. And support you 10000%.

— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) June 2, 2020

Morgan is not the only black actor who has publicly criticized Riverdale for sidelining their character. In April 2020, Ashleigh Murray, whose character moved from Riverdale to its spin-off Katy Keene, said to Elite Daily: "There wasn't a lot of room for Josie in Riverdale, and now there's so much space for her to really spread her wings and stretch out [in Katy Keene].

"I'm also hoping that, because I didn't really get as much transparency on screen through Riverdale, with Katy Keene, that will also reintroduce me as, like, a full actor to the world."

In reply to a (now deleted) tweet that said that Josie and her band The Pussycats were written off of Riverdale because Murray is a "known diva," Morgan replied, "you don't know what the f*** your talking about and don't talk about my friend like that. Another thing i hate BLACK women being called DIVAS for sticking up for themselves. Maybe the show should write for her like the white characters. You picked the wrong day get off my page."

Newsweek has reached out for comment to The CW and will update this article when we get a response.

Riverdale Season 5 is coming in January 2021 to The CW.