Yikes, this is absolute not okay. Riverdale newcomer Vanessa Morgan is already getting death threats because of possible plot line for her character Toni Topaz, and Season 2 hasn't even started yet. Vanessa's character Toni enters the storyline when Jughead gets transferred to a new school as a result of his father's imprisonment at the end of Season 1 – so naturally, he will start hanging out on the southside more. Enter Toni, a newer Archie Comics character with pink locks and a bad girl image that we suppose you can say is, well, totally opposite of prim and proper Betty Cooper.
So now you see why come Bughead shippers are, shall we say, intimidated over the fact that Toni could possibly swoop in and steal Jughead away from Betty. But don't worry – these are all assumptions.
"She's a Southside Serpent, a gang member, and Jughead's first friend," Morgan said in an interview. "So I might stir up the pot a bit with the Bughead relationship. There might be a little love triangle."
With all the Season 2 plot line rumors comes a lot of hate IRL. Vanessa herself has received a lot of negatively, including death threats, online all because of the fictional character she plays. This is extremely heartbreaking to hear, but we are happy to see that Vanessa is taking all the hate with a grain of salt.
"I’ve already had some death threats," Morgan continued. "But the thing is, it's half death threats because they don't want that [actually] happening, and there's half that's just all love. Who knows if [my character coming between Bughead] is even going to happen. People are just jumping to conclusions."
You go, Vanessa! We're glad to see she isn't letting all the mean comments get her down, and we can only hope it comes to an end ASAP.
Vanessa's co-star Lili Reinhart (AKA Betty Cooper) took it upon herself to speak up for her friend by posting a powerful message to her Tumblr page. She won't let bullying go unnoticed on her watch.
"Bughead shippers are amazing… but the fact that Vanessa is getting death threats because of her character possibly causing problems for the Bughead, is seriously f-cked up," Lili wrote. "If you see this happening, please stop it or report it. This is a fictional couple, for god’s sake. This does not constitute sending death threats to my friend and fellow castmate. I also understand that the people who are doing this represent a very small percentage of the fandom and it does not reflect the actions of most Bughead shippers."
As for working with rumored couple Cole Sprouse and Lili, the actress has nothing but amazing things to say about the stars.
"Lili and Cole are awesome, and they have been nothing but welcoming to me. It’s great doing scenes with them. I feel lucky that everyone has been so nice. And Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom) is my best friend in real life!" she said.
Speaking of Madelaine – there is also a chance Toni and Cheryl could form a romantic relationship on the show. Yep, that's right. Vanessa's character Toni is bisexual, so the guy characters on the show aren't her only crush options.
"It's so huge because I have so many bisexual friends [in real life]…. I'm happy to be representing [that with this character]," Vanessa said about her character's sexual orientation on the show. "You can love both [genders]. It doesn't matter guy or girl, so I'm proud to represent that."
YAS, GIRL. Preach! Before anyone passes judgement on Toni without even seeing her journey play out, just know that she brings some important messages to the series.
Vanessa shared, "I hope the lesson is – don't judge a book by its cover, by someone's upbringing, or by who they love. I hope people watch Toni and think, 'Why are we judging people?' I would love that if people took that from my character."
Whether she'll pick Jughead or Cheryl (or neither... or both), we don't know quite yet. However, we do know who Vanessa hopes her character scores – Cheryl! Why? As she's mentioned on multiple occasions, she and Madelaine are actual besties so she'd love to see them have a serious connection on screen.
"Cheryl Blossom," she told Bustle. "Because Madelaine Petsch is my best friend in real life."
We can't wait to see!
This post was originally published on August 30, 2017 and since has been updated.