‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Riverdale’ Star Shannon Purser Says She’s Bisexual
After fans of the show took issue with a kiss shared between Betty (Camila Mendes) and Veronica (Lili Reinhart) during their cheerleading tryout earlier in the season, accusing The CW series of queer-baiting, 19-year-old Purser referred to the group as “angry Beronica-stans” in a direct tweet to co-star Cole Sprouse.
“Ships are great,” Purser wrote. “Being horrible to people who don’t ship your ship is not.”
“And I get that, representation is so powerful and important,” she continued. “But we didn’t write the show? We have literally no say in what happens. Lemme clarify, not angry at Beronica stans. Not even angry at rightfully upset Beronica stans. Disappointed with hateful people. Peace.”
While Purser’s point was solid, she followed up by making a strong, personal statement about her own sexuality.
“I don’t normally do this,” she wrote in a screenshot, “but I figure now is just as good a time as any to get personal. I’ve only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much.
“I’m very very new to the LGBT community,” she continued. “I have never heard the term ‘queer-baiting’ in my life until today. That being said, I have never ever wanted to alienate anyone and my tweet was thoughtless. I wasn’t referring to all the Beronica shippers, just the ones who had been particularly cruel to me personally. Either way, it wasn’t a wise or kind thing to say and I’m disappointed in myself, especially as a Christian who has always been taught to speak love to others.
“Thank you to all the people who kindly reached out to me and educated me about the reality [of] your feelings about queer-baiting,” she finished. “And I apologize to those who were hurt.”
On Riverdale, Purser plays Ethel Muggs, a high school classmate of Betty, Veronica and co. whose family loses everything after investing in Veronica’s dad’s fraudulent ventures. She is also known for her role as Barb on Stranger Things.