Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin speaks about racism from fans

Caleb McLaughlin
Caleb McLaughlin  

Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin has said he has faced racism from fans of the show.

The 20-year-old, who plays Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix hit, said the experience "took a toll" on him.

"My very first Comic-Con, some people didn't stand in my line because I was black," he told fans at a Belgian convention.

The actor has starred in the show since he was 14, and will appear in the fifth and final season.

He is one of Stranger Things' five main characters alongside Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp and Millie Bobby Brown, all of whom also joined the cast in season one.

The other actors have more Instagram followers than Caleb - something that he discussed with fans during an on-stage appearance at Heroes Comic Con in Brussels.

Stranger Things cast
Stranger Things cast  

In a video shared on Twitter by an attendee, he says he asked his parents why he was the "least favourite" even though he was "on the same show as everybody".

"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 said people had avoided him at early meet-and-greet events, telling him it was "because you were mean to Eleven", referring to Lucas's hostility towards Millie Bobby Brown's character in season one.

"Even now some people don't follow me or don't support me because I'm black," he told fans in Belgium.

"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."

  • Lord of the Rings stars condemn racist backlash

  • Stranger Things actor praised for addiction post

  • 'I pinch myself at my luck being in Stranger Things'

Despite being a worldwide hit, Stranger Things has faced some criticism for its lack of casting diversity and accusations of sidelining its black characters.

Caleb is the latest black star to talk about receiving backlash because of the shows they were a part of.

Lord of the Rings actors recently condemned the "relentless" racist abuse suffered by cast members of the newly released spin-off series The Rings Of Power.

Non-white actors were trolled online for portraying a range of white fictional characters.

Sophia Nomvete as Disa in The Rings of Power
Sophia Nomvete as Disa in The Rings of Power  

Speaking at this summer's Comic-Con event in the US, the star of another fantasy drama spin-off, House of the Dragon, hit out at racist trolls who criticised his casting in the new Game of Thrones series.

Steve Toussaint, who plays Lord Corlys Velaryon, said it was "an issue they have to deal with, I don't have to".

And Disney's recently released trailer for a new live-action version of the Little Mermaid, starring black actress Halle Bailey, generated criticism from people upset because the cartoon version featured a white mermaid.

Fellow Disney actor Rachel Zegler came to her defence, saying: "If you don't support my girl Halle, who is the perfect Ariel, you don't support any of us."

Despite his experiences, Caleb said he was determined to not be drawn into negativity.

"With my platform I want to spread positivity and love because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me," he said.


Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here.


More Related News

York butcher
York butcher's Christmas turkey supply hit by bird flu

Karl Slater, who runs Tony Neary Butchers, says he is trying to find alternatives for customers.

Highland solar and wind projects put to planners
Highland solar and wind projects put to planners

A solar project is proposed for a Black Isle site while floating turbines could be installed off Dounreay.

Ebola in Uganda: The people spreading misinformation online
Ebola in Uganda: The people spreading misinformation online
  • World
  • 2022-11-29 01:20:36Z

Some Ugandans have been attacking the government's efforts, even denying the Ebola virus's existence.

Bird flu: What is it and what
Bird flu: What is it and what's behind the outbreak?

Why is bird flu so bad this year and why are scientists so concerned?

This Is How the U.S. Totally Misjudged the War in Ukraine
This Is How the U.S. Totally Misjudged the War in Ukraine
  • World
  • 2022-11-28 09:42:52Z

Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesThe war in Ukraine isn't going the way Russian President Vladimir Putin expected. And he's certainly not the only ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Economy