KJ Apa, the star of Netflix’s and The CW’s latest hit show, Riverdale, is under fire for hitting the like button on an Instagram joke about fat people.
Riverdale, a modern-day retelling of the classic and still popular Archie Comics, has been on the lips of millennials since its debut this March. It features the staple cast of Archie characters, with KJ Apa in the lead role as Archie Andrews.
Apparently unaware of his newfound celebrity, KJ Apa, who hails from New Zealand, was interacting with his fans on Instagram when he liked a fat-shaming Instagram comment, which read:
“Making fun of fat people is the only thing that’s gonna stop those useless bags of shit dying a fat early death.”
In the age of fat positivity and the “Health at Every Size” movement’s prominence in social justice circles, it’s a controversial opinion that echoed across Riverdale fandom and spread to the rest of social media. Fans were not happy with his apparent disdain of fat people, and declared him to be “fat shaming trash.”
Fans took to Twitter to complain about the Riverdale star, expressing their disbelief of his problematic like. There are hundreds of complaints about the actor, many of which were directed to his Twitter account.
“Can you believe kj apa liked a fat shaming comment on Instagram?” [sic] wrote one user, who accompanied her tweet with a GIF that read “I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you.”
“Fat shaming & treating women like objects? You’re supposed to be a rolemodel for teenagers. Well done @kj_apa,” admonished an aggrieved fan.
Some people defended the actor, stating that he was only guilty of liking the joke. After all, he didn’t write it. KJ Apa has yet to apologize, nor should he be forced to.