Lili Reinhart has zero tolerance for bullying within the Riverdale fandom — even when it’s under the guise of defending her character Betty’s honor.
The most shocking moment of season 3 of Riverdale wasn’t the presence of the murderous Gargoyle King, floating babies, or even Archie’s brand-new fight club: Instead, for many fans, it was the kiss between Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and someone who is decidedly not his girlfriend Betty. During the season 3 episode “As Above, So Below,” Ethel (Shannon Purser) instructed Juggy to lay a smooch on her in order to receive more info about culty game Griffins & Gargoyles. Teen Truman Capote, who would do anything for a good clue, obliged.
Betty herself likely wouldn’t care about Jughead’s very practical kiss — our resident Nancy Drew would also do anything to solve a juicy mystery — some fans were up in arms over the whole thing. Bizarrely, these Riverdale trolls decided to take out their hate for the Jughead/Ethel ship on the real actress who portrays G&G’s Princess Etheline.
According to a now-deleted tweet from Purser, per PopBuzz, fans were body-shaming her (the real person!) because the Riverdale writers decided to go the kissing route.
“all the stans who finally feel comfortable calling me fat/ugly now that Ethel has interfered with their ship,” Purser wrote alongside the meme of the exhausted Spongebob.
The tweets aimed at Purser aren't pretty — and definitely not worth repeating or reposting here. Reinhart, fortunately, stood up for Purser on Twitter.
“Shannon is my friend, and it is embarrassing that people felt the need to attack her personally for something that happened on a SHOW. Written by WRITERS. You are not a fan of mine if you treat my friend like this,” the actress wrote on the social media platform.
“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. There are so many other things to focus your attention and energy on."