Vanessa Morgan is best known for playing Toni Topaz in CW’s Riverdale since 2017. Morgan had the spotlight on her in 2020 when she made tweets about shows having Black characters just for the sake of diversity.

Morgan has since received much support for doing her part in trying to bring attention to the portrayal of Black characters in the media. She has also shared about the experience she had with racism throughout her life.

Vanessa Morgan Shares Her Parents’ Story

Morgan has spoken about growing up with interracial parents on multiple occasions. The actress revealed that her mother was Scottish and her father was East African via a tweet in 2011.

In a separate tweet in June 2020, Morgan talked about how her parents had a wedding ceremony with just the two of them.

No one showed up at my parents wedding because my mother married a black man. My dads family was in Africa so they couldn’t make it. My mom said **** her family and they had the cutest ceremony with just the two of them.

The same day, Morgan made another tweet where she shared her parents had married 34 years ago. She also expressed her disbelief at how interracial marriage had only been legalized 54 years ago.

Vanessa Morgan on Portrayal of Black Characters in Media

Being of mixed race, Morgan had experienced racism firsthand growing up and has tweeted about a few incidents which involved her.

In May 2020, the Riverdale actress took to Twitter to pour her frustration over how Black people were shown in the media.

Tired of how black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people. Tired of us also being used as sidekick non dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show.

Morgan received much support for her tweet. Riverdale’s creator, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa, acknowledged her statement and made a tweet where he expressed that the show would do better to honor her character and other characters of color.

He further added that Riverdale’s writers donated to BLMLA and vowed that all the writers would start the necessary change. “CHANGE is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.”

Though Aguirre Sacasa’s tweet made it known that Morgan’s words were heard, some people still harassed the other cast members of Riverdale because of it. Morgan took to Twitter once again to clarify the situation. 

The actress explained that her castmates/friends did not write the show, and they were not responsible for her role in Riverdale. She urged people not to attack them and added that she knew her castmates had her back.