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Riverdale’s Bernadette Beck Speaks Out About Show’s Portrayal of Black People

Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Riverdale actress Bernadette Beck spoke out about her experiences with tokenism and racism on the CW show in an interview with Elle, echoing fellow cast-member Vanessa Morgan’s criticism of the show back in June. Beck played Peaches ‘N Cream on the third and fourth seasons of Riverdale, and said that she felt her character was created to “fulfill a diversity quota.” Beck felt that Peaches ‘N Cream had little backstory and personality, and said she was given the directive by producers to simply “stand there, chew gum, and look sassy and mean.” In addition to feeling that her character wasn’t properly developed, Beck also remembered being neglected or forgotten while on set. “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,” Beck said. “You can’t treat people like they’re invisible and then pat yourself on the back for meeting your diversity quota for the day.”

Morgan expressed similar sentiments last month on Twitter, writing that she was tired of “being used as sidekick non dimensional characters to our white leads.” Morgan’s tweets prompted a response from Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who wrote that the show would “honor all of our actors and characters of color” going forward. He acknowledged that “the work must happen for us. In the writers’ room,” for season five.

Riverdale’s Bernadette Beck Speaks Out About Show’s Tokenism