Caleb McLaughlin opened up about the effect that racist comments from Stranger Things fans had on him at a recent panel event.
While speaking at Heroes Comic Con Belgium, the 20-year-old, who plays Lucas Sinclair on the Netflix series, addressed racist hate leveled at him from the show’s fans.
“It definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid,” Caleb said. “My very first Comic Con, some people didn’t stand in my line because I was Black. Some people told me, ‘Oh I didn’t want to be in your line because you were mean to Eleven’.”
In “Stranger Things” season one, Lucas and Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown) fight over her misdirecting them in the forest before reconciling.
“Even now, some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m Black,” Caleb continued at the convention. “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.
“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.”
Caleb will reprise his role as Lucas in the fifth and final series, set for release in 2024.