Shannon Purser, who plays Ethel Muggs on Riverdale and was Barb on Stranger Things, revealed that she's bisexual Tuesday night (April 18) via Twitter. In an emotional note to fans that followed up on last week's tweets about her anxiety over her sexuality, she opened up about coming out to her loved ones.
"I've only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends," Purser wrote. "It's something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don't like talking about it too much. I'm very, very new to the LGBT community."
Her announcement came shortly after she sent a controversial, now-deleted tweet to her Riverdale co-star Cole Sprouse referencing Beronica, the ship name for Betty and Veronica, the show's female protagonists who kissed in the pilot episode. Because their smooch was a ruse designed to help them make the River Vixen cheerleading squad, the show has been criticized for what some viewers saw as queer baiting.
"I have never heard the term 'queerbaiting' in my life until today," Purser wrote in her note. "I have never, ever wanted to alienate anyone and my tweet was thoughtless. I wasn't referring to all Beronica shippers, just the ones who had been particularly cruel to me personally. "
"Ships are great, being horrible to people who don't ship your ship is not," she clarified in another string of tweets. "Representation is so powerful and important. But we didn't write the show? We have literally no say in what happens."
Sprouse's Riverdale character, Jughead Jones, is asexual in the original Archie comics, though he's currently figuring out his sexuality and dating Betty on the show. Sprouse has said he wants Jughead to stay true to canon, so perhaps things will change in Season 2.