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The actor reflected on his first Comic-Con when some people didn’t want to stand in his line and claimed it was because of the way his character, Lucas Sinclair, treated Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven in season one.
“It definitely took a toll on me as a younger kid,” he said at the Heroes Comic Con Belgium convention. “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 but because you were mean to Eleven.'”
McLaughlin, 20, went on to explain that it still sometimes happens, “Even now some people don’t follow me or don’t support me because I’m Black,” he continued. “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.”
He started the series when he was 14, and he recalled his younger self wondering at the time why he was the least favorite on the show, with fewer followers than his co-stars. “I’m on the same show as everybody from season one,” he remembered thinking.
The actor said his parents had to sit him down and tell him a “sad truth.”
“My parents had to be like, ‘It’s a sad truth, but it’s because you’re the Black child on the show,'” McLaughlin shared. “Because I was born with this beautiful chocolate skin, I’m not loved.”
Despite the racism he’s faced, he now refuses to let it bring him down.
“That’s why with my platform I want to spread positivity and love,” McLaughlin said, “because I do not give hate back to people who give hate to me.”
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