Back in July, Riverdale made its second San Diego Comic-Con appearance to discuss the series' premiere season and hint at what's to come. Besides releasing the first look for season two, the cast and crew announced the addition of Vanessa Morgan, who will be playing Toni Topaz for the upcoming season. Toni is a Southside Serpent who attends Jughead's new school, and the two will reportedly become fast friends. Despite the fact that Morgan's character hasn't even made an appearance on the show yet, the actress is already receiving death threats from diehard Bughead fans.
The relationship between Betty (#LiliReinhart) and Jughead (#ColeSprouse) has undoubtedly been a bright spot for the series. The duo are the epitome of how opposites attract, with Jughead as the brooding kid of a gang member from the wrong side of town and Betty as the super smart, well-polished "girl next door" type. Fans immediately jumped onto the #Bughead ship, especially since there are rumors that Reinhart and Sprouse began dating in real life.
With Jughead's move to a new school, Toni Topaz quickly becomes his only friend. Fans are already assuming that the character will get in the way of Betty and Jughead's relationship. It is pretty common for a show centering around teens to involve a few love triangles, but the issue is how seriously some fans are taking this potential new conflict. Morgan spoke to Glamour about her new role and how her character might "stir the pot," but also revealed she has gotten a few death threats:
"I’ve already had some death threats. But the thing is, it's half death threats because they don't want that [actually] happening, and there's half that's just all love. Who knows if [my character coming between Bughead] is even going to happen. People are just jumping to conclusions."
Morgan seems to be taking the threats lightly, but this is becoming quite the common occurrence these days with fans overstepping their boundaries. A few cast members from The Walking Dead recently quit social media after dealing with death threats from fans who could not differentiate the show from reality. It is a complete shame that some people take fiction made for entertainment and twist it into a form of entitlement.
Besides the threats, Morgan is reveling in the opportunity to portray the first bisexual character in Archie Comics through the small-screen, and the lessons her character will bring to the series:
"It's so huge because I have so many bisexual friends [in real life]…. I'm happy to be representing [that with this character]. You can love both [genders]. It doesn't matter guy or girl, so I'm proud to represent that.
I hope the lesson is, Don't judge a book by its cover, by someone's upbringing, or by who they love. I hope people watch Toni and think, Why are we judging people? I would love that if people took that from my character."
Fans will be eager to see how Toni Topaz fits into the show's narrative, but let's hope viewers realize how to appropriately voice their opinions regarding characters and storylines. Riverdale returns for its second season on October 11th on the CW.
What do you think about the death threats from Bughead fans? Tell us in the comments below!