‘Stranger Things’ Star Caleb McLaughlin Opens Up About Racism

Credit: Netflix

At the Heroes Comic Con in Belgium on Sunday, Caleb McLaughlin opened up the racism he faced as the only Black kid in Stranger Things, and the toll it took on him at the beginning of his career. 

My very first Comic-Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black,” he said, “Even now some people don’t follow me, don’t support me because I’m Black.” 

He spoke on facing racism overseas, claiming:

“Sometimes overseas you feel the racism, you feel 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.”

Starting the series at only 14, McLaughlin’s character, Lucas Sinclair, is a main character and part of the core group on the wildly popular series, yet, his younger self was often left wondering why he was “the least favourite, [with] the least amount of followers,” out of his co-stars.

“My parents had to be like, ‘It’s a sad truth, but it’s because you’re the Black child on the show,” the actor said, “Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved.” 

He then went on to add that “[This is] 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.”

Since his rise to fame as Lucas Sinclair, McLaughlin went on to star alongside Idris Elba in Concrete Cowboy, and will be in the upcoming film Shooting Stars, an adaptation of Lebron James’ book. 

Unfortunately, McLaughlin has been among many influential figures who have been victims of racism. Most recently, actress Halle Bailey has been hit with racist comments for her role as Ariel in the upcoming Little Mermaid live-action adaptation, and the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, have spoken up about racism against their co-stars. 

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