Call it karma. All across Hollywood, celebrities are being fired from their TV jobs after facing backlash for racist comments and past controversial behavior. Some shows — like Vanderpump Rules — are even losing their biggest stars. Though Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute’s treatment of former costar Faith Stowers was far from new, fans and producers alike viewed their actions in a new light amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
After the death of George Floyd, celebrities and activists took to the streets to demand change. In the TV and film industry, Black stars spoke up about the racism they’ve faced as actors and reality TV personalities. Faith was one of many to come forward, and she was joined by others like Riverdale’s Vanessa Morgan.
Vanessa, who plays Toni Topaz on the CW show, took to Twitter to share that she is “tired of how Black people are portrayed in the media.” Calling out TV and movies that only show Black actors playing “thugs,” “dangerous” characters or “angry, scary people,” she insisted Hollywood start to tell stories where Black stars play the hero, not just the “sidekick, non-dimensional characters” to white leads. “I’m not being [quiet] anymore,” she wrote.
The Riverdale cast had her back — and so did the show’s creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. In a statement shared on his own Twitter, he promised to “do better” and “honor” Vanessa as an actress. “Change is happening and will continue to happen,” he told fans. “Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.”
It’s not just celebrities who are sparking change, however. Fans are also unearthing stars’ past racist statements. The CW star Hartley Sawyer was fired from The Flash after his offensive and misogynistic tweets resurfaced. Though he apologized and assured the show’s viewers that his controversial words were meant “with an intent of humor,” he understood they were “hurtful and unacceptable.” Ultimately, executive producer Eric Wallace confirmed the show would be moving forward without him.
“In regards to Mr. Sawyer’s posts on social media, we do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or sexual orientation,” Wallace told In Touch in a statement shared on behalf of the TV network and producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions. “Such remarks are antithetical to our values and policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”
Stassi, Kristen and Hartley aren’t the only stars to lose their jobs. Check out the gallery below to see the full list of celebrities fired for their racist behavior.
For more information, visit BlackLivesMatter.com.
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