‘Stranger Things’ actor Caleb McLaughlin addresses the racist backlash he faced as a child star during the first season of the viral Netflix series.
McLaughlin has starred as Lucas alongside Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, and Gaten Matarazzo since Season 1, and as “Stranger Things” nears its fifth and final season, McLaughlin has reflected on how his career has taken a turn. different twist than her co-stars.
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“Why am I the least loved? [Have] least followers? McLaughlin said in a “deep conversation” during Belgium Comic Con Heroes. “I’m on the same show as everyone from Season 1.”
McLaughlin opened up about how being seen differently “definitely impacted me as a young kid.”
“My very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t toe my line because I was black,” McLaughlin said. “Some people said to me, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to be in your line because you were mean to Eleven. Even now some people don’t follow me or support me because I’m black. Sometimes abroad you feel racism, you feel bigotry. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about and for people to understand, but when I was younger it definitely affected me a lot.
He added: “My parents must have said, ‘It’s a sad truth, but it’s because you’re the black kid on the show… Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not not liked. But that’s why with my platform, I want to spread positivity and love because I don’t return hate to the people who give it to me.
McLaughlin previously spoke with IndieWire about fan reactions to the racial trauma Lucas endured throughout the series. “I was reading comments recently and I remember people’s theories about the second part of episode 9. People were like, ‘What trauma did Luke go through? And I was just looking like, well, his girlfriend’s brother didn’t like him because he was black, so he was being laughed at [for] her skin color in Season 1. People miss those things,” he said.
McLaughlin was 14 when ‘Stranger Things’ premiered in 2016. McLaughlin’s comments follow ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ actress Moses Ingram, ‘House of the Dragon’ actor Steve Toussiant and to “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power star,” Ismael Cruz Cordova, addresses the racist backlash received by so-called fans of their franchises.
McLaughlin’s ‘Stranger Things’ co-star Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven on the show, previously revealed she’s endured sexist comments and “rude” sexual messages since she was 18.
The Duffer brothers are currently working on “Stranger Things 5” after another massively successful release of “Stranger Things” on Netflix earlier this year.
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