While she was on the show, Bromfield played Melody, the drummer of the Pussycats. Unfortunately, she and many of the other Black actors on the show have spoken out against their tokenisation—arguing that when they were they it was for diversity points and as cliche sidekicks, before ultimately being written off the show entirely.
As it stands, there is only one Black series regular, Vanessa Morgan who uh... also says she's being written for diversity points. Her character is a bisexual Black teen who has a relationship with Cheryl Blossom, played by Madelaine Petsch. Not only that, but she also claims she's being paid the least, compared to her white co-stars.
The show's creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa copped to Morgan's comments earlier this week in an Instagram post. “She’s right,” he wrote in his post. “We’re sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her. We will do better to honour her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of colour.”
The thing is, unlikely as it seems, a fictional TV show about a town that has an abnormally high body-count does actually matter when it comes to the IRL issues that the Black Lives Matter movement is currently shining a light on.
In Reinhart and Bromfield's IG Live, they discuss the serious consequences to racial stereotypes and Black humanity in Hollywood.
"I wanted to bring awareness to how toxic these limited, one-dimensional narratives can be, and how they bleed over into our real lives and have real consequences," wrote Bromfield, about her and Reinhart's conversation. "When we reinforce racial stereotypes, it inhibits our ability to see each other's humanity - and too often, the lack of humanity granted to black people on screen is weaponized against us. This is a conversation about the magic that can happen when we, as a global community, begin to see ourselves in each other."
In one gutting moment of the IG Live, Bromfield describes how "In one breath, being a part of [Riverdale] was the most profound, historic, exciting thing for me as a Black actress, and on the other end, it was devastating." She explained how demeaning it felt to be used basically as a piece of background on set: "We stand in the background and we have a lot of attitude, or we don’t talk. Or, we’re only included when we are uplifting white characters."
"I’m so much more, and Black people are so much more, than support systems," she told Reinhart. "It becomes toxic messaging when we are perpetuating this idea that there’s any less validity to my own life than yours, that my sole purpose in this world is to support someone who looks like you."
For her part, Reinhart was incredibly sympathetic. Though a few Twitter users noted an awkward moment where she tried to defend Aguirre-Sacasa.
Thankfully, Bromfield's moved on to bigger and better things. She'll appear in a new TV show called Locke & Key on Netflix, and has a whole-ass novel (!) called Hurricane Summer on the way.