Caleb McLaughlin starred as Lucas Sinclair on the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things. The actor has recently opened up about how he has experienced racism from Stranger Things fans. Caleb shared at Heroes Comic Con Belgium over the weekend at Brussels Expo that at one point he weighed why of the cast, he had the least social media followers and was the ‘least favorite’ among his costars.
He noted thinking, ‘I’m on the same show as everybody from season one,’ adding, it ‘definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid.’ Caleb then recalled one trying incident, “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 your line because you were mean to Eleven.’ Even now, like some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m Black.”
McLaughlin added, “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.” McLaughlin then opened up about the support he has received from his parents amid his stretch on the popular sci-fi series.
The actor shared of his parents’ support, “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.”
McLaughlin is the latest actor who has spoken out about experiencing racism from toxic fan bases. In recent months, The Little Mermaid’s Halle Bailey and House of the Dragon’s Steve Toussaint were also speak up about receiving end of racist messages from trolls. Moreover, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cast issued a statement condemning ‘relentless racism, threats, harassment and abuse’ cast members who are people of color have had to endure.