Season 2 of Riverdale—which kicks off October 11 at 8:00 p.m. on The CW—cannot come fast enough, especially since we gotta know what’s up with newcomer Toni Topaz, played by Vanessa Morgan, and the wedge she may drive between Betty and Jughead. While a Bughead breakup would be rill sad for pretty much everyone, Morgan told Glamour that she’s received actual death threats over the speculation. WTF?
Earlier this summer, executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told ET Online: “Bughead is pretty strong, and pretty undeniable, and pretty epic, but you know even the most epic of romances has trouble—and trouble often comes as a third party. So yes, it is conceivable that Toni will potentially test the limits of Bughead.” The fan freakout commenced almost immediately:
I’m fine with you coming to the show as long as you don’t break up Bughead
— Taylor Klimchuk (@taytay22love) July 24, 2017
They are going to have to catch my fists if bughead doesn’t last
— scotlyn (@scotlyn_) July 22, 2017
Vanessa Morgan is gonna have something to do with Bughead in Riverdale n i dont know how to feel
— katalina la gallina (@cloudii_katyyy) July 24, 2017
Ottawa-born actress Morgan told Glamour about the fallout after Aguirre-Sacasa shared his “third-party” reference. “But the thing is, it’s half death threats because they don’t want that [actually] happening, and there’s half that’s just all love,” Morgan said. “Who knows if [my character coming between Bughead] is even going to happen. People are just jumping to conclusions.”
Thankfully, other Riverdale fans stepped up and tried to talk some sense into those dishing the threats.
Anyone who calls them self a “bughead fan” would NEVER threaten anyone on the Riverdale cast. You’re beautiful @VanessaMorgan !!
— Tory (@tvaddict4eva) August 29, 2017
— anna (@annarachii) August 29, 2017
— Kitty (@Kittyfornia) August 30, 2017
A bit about Toni Topaz: we’ll see her as a pink-haired Southside Serpent, who identifies as bisexual and, apparently, will be one of Jughead’s first friends at his new school. In the Season 1 finale—spoiler alert—we learned that Jughead is moving across town because Fred, Archie’s dad, can’t support him while he goes through his own ish. With Betty back at Riverdale High… and Jughead making his foray into Serpentry… and Topaz toting some killer pink hair, conditions appear to be ripe for a love triangle.
While the demise of Bughead is not a thrilling prospect, it sounds like the IRL romance between Jughead’s Cole Sprouse and Betty’s Lili Reinhart remains firmly in tact. “Lili and Cole are awesome, and they have been nothing but welcoming to me,” Morgan said to Glamour. “It’s great doing scenes with them. I feel lucky that everyone has been so nice.”
Despite the death threats, Morgan is still amped to bring Toni Topaz to the world of Riverdale. “I hope people watch Toni and think, Why are we judging people? I would love that if people took that from my character,” the actress said.