Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin made a recent appearance at Heroes Comic Con in Belgium on Sunday (Sept 25) and discussed the racism he’s experienced from fans of the show. He has portrayed Lucas Sinclair on the popular Netflix series since 2016. But because he’s Black, he claims to have received different treatment from those who say they support the show.
McLaughlin also described the toll racism took on him throughout his career. “My very first Comic Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black. Some people told me: ‘Oh, I didn’t want to be in line because you were mean to Eleven,’ even now some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m Black.”
He went even deeper and described that when he’s overseas, you can feel the bigotry. “It’s hard to talk about and for people to understand but when I was younger it definitely affected me a lot...you’re like ‘why am I the least favorite? The least amount of followers? I’m on the same show as everybody from Season 1.
“My parents had to be like ‘it’s a sad truth but it’s because you’re the Black child on the show.’ Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved? With my platform I want to spread positivity and love because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me.”
The audience gave McLaughlin a thunderous round of applause and the video quickly went viral. Black characters on fictional shows deal with racism from fans more often than not and should be lauded for opening up about how they are treated.