'Riverdale's Lili Reinhart Defends Shannon Purser From Online Bullies

Riverdale has arguably created one of the most passionate fandoms around today, but it sounds like the recent actions of some viewers have caught the wrong kind of attention.

Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the hit The CW series, took to Twitter to defend her costar Shannon Purser, who has been a target of online bullying after the events of a recent episode. In a tweet, which you can check out below, Reinhart called the attacks "embarrassing", and declared that the fans behaving that way "are not a fan of [hers]".

Last week's episode of Riverdale, "As Above, So Below", saw Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) getting further into the mystery of Griffins and Gargoyles, which led to him spending more time with Purser's Ethel Muggs. At one point in the episode, Jughead and Ethel shared a kiss, which Jughead didn't tell Betty about.

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Purser addressed the social media bullying, saying in part "I’m not stressed about it, trust me. I just wonder what these people will think in like 10 [years] when they remember their twitter and realize they insulted and attacked real human beings for their character on a tv show."

This isn't the first time that the Riverdale world has endured this kind of online backlash, with Vanessa Morgan getting a similar sort of kickback for Toni Topaz supposedly "ruining" the Betty and Jughead relationship in Season 2.

"When everyone was like, 'Oh, you're interfering with Bughead,' I already knew that because my character was actually more into girls, it wasn't going to be an end-all, ruining Bughead thing," Morgan revealed in an interview at the time. "First of all, I think the Black Hood ruined Bughead. But with Toni and Jughead, she wasn't trying to be deceitful to lure him into the Serpents, to seduce him. They get along as friends, and they had a rough day. They were connecting, and he said he was over Betty, and you know, 'we're' teenagers and hooked up."

"I never took any of the threats too seriously; it just means that the fans are so passionate about the show, that they literally believed that I was Toni and literally believed that I was ruining Bughead's relationship," Morgan continued. "I guess it means I'm doing my job."


While the next Riverdale episode will largely focus on a flashback to the series' parents, the synopsis for "The Great Escape" hints that Jughead will get even further into the world of G&G. Fans will ultimately have to wait and see exactly what that entails -- and hopefully be kinder towards the show's actors either way.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.