“Stranger Things” star Caleb McLaughin told an group over the weekend that some fans of the show are racist because they wouldn’t take pictures with him during the first season.
In a video that surfaced on Twitter Sunday, the 20-year-old actor said at the Heroes Comic Con Belgium that he dealt with racism early in his career after being the only “black kid” on the series.
“It definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid,” McLaughlin, who plays the popular character Lucas Sinclair on the hit Netflix show, shared in the clip. “My very first Comic Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was black.”
“Some people told me, like, ‘Oh, I didn’t wanna be in line because you were mean to Eleven,'” he added, noting Millie Bobby Brown’s character on the series. “Even now, some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m black.”
He also shared that, “sometimes overseas you’ll feel the racism … the bigotry.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to talk about and for people to understand, but when I was younger it definitely affected me a lot,” McLaughlin told the group.
here's caleb talking about how he had to deal with racism just because he was "the black kid who was mean to eleven in season 1" and felt like it was important to share his thoughts on that 🙂 #StrangerThings #TUDUM #CalebMcLaughlin @HComicConBE pic.twitter.com/JZoXS9aaBW
— L ☾ met timothée (@spideychaIamet) September 25, 2022
Looking on Caleb’s Instagram account, it appears he has 15.4 million followers, with another 1.5 million on Twitter. In comparison, some of his fellow costars like Brown have 58.5 million followers on Instagram, Finn Wolfhard has 26.3, while Gaten Matarazzo has 18.7 on the social media platform.
McLaughlin said both he and his parents have attributed his follower account in the past to him being “the black child on the show.”
“Why [do I have] the least amount of followers?” Caleb said he would think when he was younger. “I’m on the same show as everybody from Season 1. My parents had to be like, ‘it’s the sad truth, but it’s because you’re the black child on the show.'”
“Wow, that was crazy,” he added. “Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved. But that’s why with my platform I want to spread positivity and love because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me.”
For fans of the show, Lucas has been a beloved character from the very start where his character has grown and become more popular every year.