Charles Melton has apologized for a series of "inconsiderate" tweets he wrote over six years ago.
In a statement to Refinery29, the Riverdale actor said:
"I’m truly sorry for making inconsiderate comments several years ago and apologize to anyone I hurt. What I posted and said was immature, offensive and inappropriate. I am ashamed of how I acted and there is no excuse for that behavior."
"I’m striving to do better and will use this experience to grow, helping others to understand how these types of statements are completely unacceptable."
This post was originally published on June 19, 2018.
The actor, who took over the role of Reggie Mantle for Ross Butler at the start of The CW show's sophomore season, allegedly tweeted comments that many interpreted as fat-shaming. (Refinery29 has reached out to representatives for Melton regarding the tweets.)
The tweets, which were screenshotted by a Twitter user but have seemingly been deleted, include comments like:
"Fat chicks need to understand that wearing yoga pants is a privilege, not a right."
"Don't tease fat kids, they already have enough on their plates."
"Headed to the gym... Word of wisdom of the day, if you're fat... don't look in the mirror."
The tweets are from 2011 and 2012, making Melton 20 or 21 at the time he wrote them. He did not start acting professionally until a 2014 role on Glee, where he played a character known only as "model."
Fans were not thrilled by the comments. In the replies of the tweet, they wrote:
"What happened with 'every job looks through your social media?'"
"Ew. He's sexist, a fat shamer and can't even spell you're."
"Woah he made a lot of disgusting tweets in 2011/2012."
Still, another noted that the tweets are old, and that they may not reflect who Melton is today.
"I think he changed y'all give him a chance," wrote one fan.
The disappointing comments should highlight the fact that some of the women of Riverdale have used their platform to spread body acceptance, rather than fat-shaming. Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica, works with Project HEAL, a nonprofit organization that provides grant funding for those unable to afford treatment for an eating disorder. The actress opened up about not feeling good enough in her own skin in an Instagram post pegged to Project HEAL's initiative #DoneWithDieting. The actress wrote on the social media platform:
"I'm done believing in the idea that there's a thinner, happier version of me on the other side of all the tireless effort. Your body type is subject to genetics, and while eating nutrient-dense foods and exercising regularly will make you healthier, it will not necessarily make you thinner, and the current system fails to make that distinction. I’m sick of the toxic narrative that the media consistently feeds us: that being thin is the ideal body type."
When did being thin become more important than being healthy? I recently went to a naturopath for the first time in my life. I told her about my anxiety around food and my obsession with dieting. She phrased a pivotal question in such a way that struck a chord with me: what other things could you be thinking about if you didn't spend all your time thinking about your diet? I suddenly remembered all the activities I love that used to occupy my time. At some point in my life, I allowed my obsession with being thin to consume me, and I refused to make room in my mind for any other concerns. Somehow I had stripped myself of all the pastimes that brought me joy, and all that was left of me was my anxiety around food. My passion for education, cinema, music, etc. — all the interests that used to occupy my mind — had been eaten away by my desire to be thin, and it made me miserable. I'm done believing in the idea that there's a thinner, happier version of me on the other side of all the tireless effort. Your body type is subject to genetics, and while eating nutrient-dense foods and exercising regularly will make you healthier, it will not necessarily make you thinner, and the current system fails to make that distinction. I’m sick of the toxic narrative that the media consistently feeds us: that being thin is the ideal body type. A healthy body is the ideal body type, and that will look different for every person. I’m #donewithdieting - join me in this movement and share your story!
"This is just my body. And sometimes I’m bloated. Sometimes an unflattering photo is taken of me. Sometimes I go through periods of time where I gain weight. My body is something that I will NEVER apologize for. My body will constantly go through change. And so will yours. And that’s fine. So let’s not put so much time and effort into caring about a stranger’s figure."
Let's hope Melton's previous "jokes" don't reflect his current worldview. If so, perhaps his co-stars need to school him.