Caleb McLaughlin, the star of the Netflix series Stranger Things and the show's famed Lucas Sinclair, recently spoke out about growing up in a racist environment. At Heroes Comic Con Belgium on Sunday, the actor discussed the early feedback he received and how it affected him. McLaughlin recalled asking himself why he was considered to be the least popular.
When discussing his experiences with racism as a young child, McLaughlin remarked, "It definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid. At my very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black. Some people told me, ‘Oh I didn’t want to be in your line because you were mean to Eleven [Millie Bobby Brown].'"
The Stranger Things star went on to say that some people don't support or follow him just because he's Black and insisted that racism is still present today. He continued by saying that when he was younger, "it absolutely affected" him greatly. He continued by thinking back on how he first began to doubt himself during Season 1 "Why am I the least favorite? The least amount of followers? I’m on the same show as everybody from Season 1", via Variety.
Then McLaughlin went on to say that he wants to convey love and joy and that he doesn't return hate for hate. Not just Caleb has experienced prejudice from spectators. Recent incidents of racism online have also affected performers of color including Steve Toussaint, who portrays Lord Corlys in House of the Dragon, and Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel in the upcoming Little Mermaid version.