The Betty and Jughead ship may not be one plucked from the pages of Archie Comics, but ever since Riverdale made the couple a reality, fans simply cannot get enough of the so-called Bughead. However, while it's perfectly acceptable to ship the rebel with a billion causes and the one-time cam girl, shipping the characters' real-life counterparts is a bit stickier a situation. So, when a fan point-blank asked at Riverdale's 2018 PaleyFest panel if Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse were dating off-camera, things got awkward... really fast.
"So Cole and Lili. There's been a lot of rumours of you guys dating. Are you dating?," the fan asked the actors while the rest of the Riverdale cast shifted uncomfortably in their seats.
This question did not come solely from a love of Bughead: Reinhart and Sprouse have been spotted together frequently outside of their time on set, and the speculation, for many fans, is that they are a genuine couple. However, neither party has confirmed the alleged romance, and Reinhart, in particular, has expressed her displeasure at people prying into her private life.
"It’s horrifying how invested some people are in my love life. Emphasis on 'my.' It is mine. It is private," Reinhart wrote on her own Tumblr page back in October of 2017, seemingly over the dating rumours. "If a stranger's love life is causing you anger, frustration or anxiety…please reevaluate your priorities. I also want to point out that there is a difference between shipping Betty and other characters, and shipping me with literally everyone I make eye contact with."
As for how Reinhart and Sprouse answered the fan's question live, well, they were pretty good sports about it. While Madelaine Petsch, who plays Cheryl, can be heard in the video saying "That is such an inappropriate question," Sprouse simply leaned into his microphone and offered what should be a sufficient answer for all fans: "No comment."
Look, the fan is clearly young, and very excited to ask her beloved Riverdale actors about their allegedly real romance. Honestly, I may have asked the same thing of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake back in the day. However, now may be a good time to remind everyone that the stars we see on our TV screens are not our friends, nor are they people who owe us anything about their private lives. Yes, Sprouse and Reinhart make an adorable onscreen couple (when Jughead is not being insufferable, just saying), but let's let the Sprousehart ship die.
Long live Bughead instead.
Watch the PaleyFest video below: