Riverdale's Bernadette Beck Says She Was Hired for 'Diversity Quota'
'Riverdale's Bernadette Beck Says She Was Hired for 'Diversity Quota'
The bisexual actress, who plays a bi character on Riverdale, is opening up about her experiences on the set of the popular teen series.
Motherland: Fort Salem star Bernadette Beck is opening up about her experiences on the set of the fan-favorite CW series Riverdale, and how the show is failing its Black queer characters.
"I was made out to be a very unlikeable character and therefore, an unlikeable person in people’s eyes," Bernadette said in a recent interview with Elle Magazine. "I was, for no reason, depicted in a very negative, unattractive light. And I’m not the first Black actress to show up on set, stand there, chew gum, and look sassy and mean."
"I feel like I was just there to fulfill a diversity quota. It’s just to fulfill points."
The 26-year-old, bisexual actress (who plays recurring bisexual character Peaches ‘N Cream, a member of the Pretty Poisons) also opened up to Elle about how though she was excited to get to play one of TV's still too few bi characters, her storyline turned out to be nothing more than a hypersexualized threesome trope. There were even times where she felt invisible on the set, she also said.
"When you’re in it, you’re going through the motions and you’re like, 'Oh great, I finally get to be utilized!' But when I saw it all put together, it made my character seem like she was down for anything."
"I was completely forgotten in the scene more than once," she revealed. "The director [would] be walking off set and I’d have to chase them down because I had no idea where to stand, what to do—I just hadn’t been given any instruction. You can’t treat people like they’re invisible and then pat yourself on the back for meeting your diversity quota for the day."
Bernadette isn't the only person holding Riverdale showrunners accountable.
Earlier this year, her co-star Vanessa Morgan (who plays bi character Toni Topaz, Riverdale's only regular Black series regular) also made a public statement about the unfair treatment Black people and Black characters get in the media while revealing she is Riverdale's least-paid series regular.
"Tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous, or angry scary people," she wrote on her Instagram Story. "Tired of us also being used as sidekick, non-dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show. It starts with the media. I’m not being quiet anymore."
\u201cI\u2019m not being Quite anymore. \u270a\ud83c\udffd #BlackLivesMatter\u201d— Vanessa Morgan (@Vanessa Morgan) 1590932029
\u201c@oneofthosefaces Lmao too bad I\u2019m the only black series regular but also paid the least \ud83d\ude02\ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffd girl i could go on for days \ud83d\udc38\u201d— G (@G) 1591049305
In the aftermath of Vanessa's revelations about her pay and her character's treatment on the show, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa issued a formal apology on his Instagram account.
"We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She's right. We're sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her. We will do better to honor her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of color. CHANGE is happening and will continue to happen. "
"Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it. All of the Riverdale writers made a donation to @BLMLA (Black Lives Matter Los Angeles), but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writers' room."
Read Bernadette's full interview with Elle here.