Riverdale actress Bernadette Beck, who portrays Peaches ‘N Cream in seasons 3 and 4 of the show, is calling out the way black actresses are portrayed.
“I was made out to be a very unlikable character and therefore, an unlikable person in people’s eyes,” Bernadette told Elle. “I get it, there’s always a protagonist and antagonist, but I never had much of a story plot or enough character development to even be considered an antagonist. I was, for no reason, depicted in a very negative, unattractive light. And I’m not the first Black actress to show up on set, stand there, chew gum, and look sassy and mean. I feel like I was just there to fulfill a diversity quota. It’s just to fulfill points.”
“I was completely forgotten in the scene more than once,” Bernadette continued. “The director [would] be walking off set and I’d have to chase them down because I had no idea where to stand, what to do—I just hadn’t been given any instruction. You can’t treat people like they’re invisible and then pat yourself on the back for meeting your diversity quota for the day.”
“I didn’t understand when I first got on that show that it meant something for your character to be likable,” she added. “Some people say it’s just a TV show, but I’m thinking about the implications long-term. If we are depicted as unlikable or our characters are not developed or we’re looked at as the enemy all the time, that affects our public persona. What kind of opportunities are we losing out on even after Riverdale? Our white co-stars are getting all this screen time and character development. They’re building up their following, generating more fans, selling out at conventions, and fans have more of an emotional connection with them. But if we don’t necessarily get that, and we’re looked at with disdain, what does that do to us and how does that stain our reputation moving forward?”
The show vowed to change after another black actress called out the show.
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