Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin recently spoke about the racism he experienced while starring in the hit Netflix series.
At Heroes Comic Con in Belgium on Sunday, McLaughlin opened up about how fans of the show have treated him differently than his non-black co-stars over the years. The 20-year-old actor, who plays Lucas Sinclair in ‘Stranger Things,’ was 14 when the first season of the sci-fi series premiered on Netflix.
“At my very first Comic Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was black,” McLaughlin said a video tweeted by @spideychalamet.
“Some people said to me, ‘I didn’t want to be in your line because you were mean to it [Millie Bobby Brown‘s character] Eleven.’ Even now, some people don’t follow me, don’t support me because I’m black.”
McLaughlin added that he has also felt the impact of bigotry and racism abroad. Since the first season of Stranger Things, Lucas von McLaughlin has been a member of the show’s core group of friends, made up of children who battle supernatural monsters from Upside Down in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana.
“It’s hard to talk about and for people to understand, but when I was younger it was like that definitely influenced me a lot,” McLaughlin continued.
“You think, ‘Why do I have the fewest followers? I’m on the same show as everyone from season 1.’ But then my parents had to say, ‘It’s a sad truth, but that’s because you’re the black kid on the show.'”
Netflix did not immediately respond to The Times request for comment on Tuesday.
In addition to Stranger Things, McLaughlin has starred in Broadway’s The Lion King, as well as the Netflix films High Flying Bird and Concrete Cowboy. As a musician, he released his latest single “Soul Travel” in May.
“Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved,” McLaughlin said at Heroes Comic Con. “With my platform I want to spread positivity and love. … I do not give hate back to people who have inflicted hate on me.”
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-09-27/stranger-things-caleb-mclaughlin-racism-netflix-comic-con Caleb McLaughlin calls out ‘Stranger Things’ fandom racism