Caleb McLaughlin Opens Up About Dealing With Racism From ‘Stranger Things’ Fans Since The First Season

Ever since the first season of Stranger Things hit Netflix back in 2016, Caleb McLaughlin has been dealing with racism from fans of the hit supernatural series. It’s not an easy thing for any actor to deal with, let alone one who was barely a teen at the time. While making a recent appearance at the Heroes Comic Con in Belgium, McLaughlin opened up about the unfortunate interactions he had during the start of the show.

“My very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black,” McLaughlin told the crowd. “Even now some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m Black. Sometimes overseas you feel the racism, you feel the bigotry. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about and for people to understand, but when I was younger it definitely affected me a lot.”

Fortunately, McLaughlin had supportive parents who helped the young actor navigate the harsh reality that some genre fans can be the absolute worst. Via Variety:

“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,” he added. “But that’s why with my platform I want to spread positivity and love because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me.”

As evidenced by the recent furor over Halle Bailey being cast as The Little Mermaid, the problem isn’t going away anytime soon. However, in a long overdue move, franchises like Star Wars have been pushing back against racist fans. When Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram started experiencing racist attacks, not only did Lucasfilm come to her aid, but so did Ewan McGregor, who called out online trolls and flat-out told them there’s no place for them in Star Wars fandom.

(Via Variety)