Weird stuff star Caleb McLaughlin recently spoke about the racism he faced when the hit sci-fi series first appeared on Netflix.
The actor thought about his first Comic-Con when some people didn’t want to be in his line, claiming it was because of the way his character, Lucas Sinclair, treated Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven in season one.
“It definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid,” he said at the… Heroes Comic Con Belgium convention. “Some people weren’t in my line because I was black. Some people said to me, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to be in your line, but because you were mean to Eleven.’”
McLaughlin, 20, explained that sometimes it still happens: “Even now some people don’t follow me or support me because I’m black,” he continued. “Sometimes you feel racism abroad, you feel intolerance. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about it and for people to understand it, but when I was younger it definitely touched me a lot.”
He started the series when he was 14, and he recalled that at the time his younger self wondered why he was the least favorite on the show, with fewer followers than his co-stars. “I’m on the same show as everyone from season one,” he recalled thinking.
The actor told his parents to sit down and tell him a “sad truth”.
“My parents had to say, ‘It’s a sad truth, but it’s because you’re the black kid on the show,'” McLaughlin said. “Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I am not loved.”
Despite the racism he has faced, he now refuses to be carried away by it.
“That’s why I want to spread positivity and love with my platform,” McLaughlin said, “because I don’t return hate to people who hate me.”