Asha Bromfield says her time on Riverdale was “devastating” in conversation with Lili Reinhart
On June 3, Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz in Riverdale, went to the show because she had marginalized her black characters and wrote on Twitter that she was "tired of how black people are portrayed in the media". Since then, the show's showrunner has responded to this criticism and posted on Instagram that Morgan is right and Riverdale is getting "better" to honor his colorful characters - but the conversation doesn't end there. Asha Bromfield, who played Melody, drummer for Josie and the Pussycats, spoke to Castmate Lili Reinhart via Instagram Live about her experience on the show and repeated many of Morgan's comments.
"In one breath, being a black actress was the deepest, most historic, and most exciting thing for me to be part of [Riverdale], and the other end was devastating," Bromfield told Reinhart, TeenVogue reported. "We are in the background and have a lot of attitude or we don't talk. Or we are only involved if we raise white signs."
Like Morgan, Bromfield expressed her frustration and exhaustion when he acted as a mate for white characters, explaining what impact this could have on the series' actors and viewers.
"I am so much more and blacks are so much more than support systems," she said. "It becomes poisonous news if we maintain this idea that my own life is less valid than yours. My only purpose in this world is to support someone who looks like you."
Bromfield, who also appeared on Netflix's Locke & Key, said the problem of minimizing the role of black characters is widespread across the entertainment industry. "It's so much bigger than Riverdale," she said. "It's a bigger talk about how we humanize all black functions on the screen."
While Bromfield was able to share important parts of her Riverdale experience during the almost one-hour conversation with Reinhart, fans on Twitter weren't entirely happy with Reinhart's side of the discussion. At one point in the conversation, Reinhart addressed Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's apology and response to Morgan's comments, and some thought Reinhart would defend him.
ʳⁱᵛᵉʳ? #A TAXI
Twitter wouldn't let me post the whole video, which is annoying, but here Lili was talking about Roberto
3:06 a.m. - June 10, 2020
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See ʳⁱᵛᵉʳ? # The other tweets from ACAB
Falice is an endgame
Lili, who defended Roberto, was just privileged to speak. She doesn't know what it's like to be abused on the show. Vanessa, Asha and Ashleigh were constantly through and mistreated. Yes, he is learning, but the only reason he apologized was that WE called him
01:01 a.m. - June 10, 2020
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42 people talk about it
Bromfield keeps this important conversation going. Hopefully we see changes not only in Riverdale, but also on TV and in entertainment.
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