‘Stranger Things’ star Caleb McLaughlin opens up about the racism he’s faced since the show premiered.
“It definitely affected me as a young kid,” the 20-year-old actor told the Convention Heroes Comic Con Belgium.
He looked back on his first Comic-Con and noted that some people didn’t toe his line, using the way his character Lucas Sinclair treated Millie Bobby Brown’s character Eleven as a way to justify their reasoning.
“My very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t follow my line because I was black. Some people were like, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to be in your line, but because you were mean to me. Eleven,” McLaughlin said.
While this specific incident happened around the time the sci-fi show season 1 hit Netflix in 2016, the actor shared that he still faces racism from fans today. .
“Even now, some people don’t follow me or support me because I’m black,” he continued. “Sometimes abroad 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.
The 20-year-old actor started the show when he was just 14 and wondered at the time why he was the least favourite.
“Why am I the least loved? Least followers? I’m on the same show as everyone else in Season 1,” he recalled wondering.
“My parents must have said, ‘It’s a sad truth, but that’s because you’re the black kid on the show,'” McLaughlin continued. “Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved.”
Although the ‘Stranger Things’ actor has faced racism from fans of the show, he isn’t letting it stop him from spreading “positivity and love.”
“I don’t return the hate to people who hate it on me,” McLaughlin explained.
McLaughlin has starred in “Stranger Things” since Season 1 and will return for the fifth and final season.
New York Post