In what’s being called “the most cringe-worthy event of your life,” the television show Riverdale featured a teenage stripping scene that no one is happy about.
This week’s episode from the CW adaptation of Archie’s Comics, which launched in the 1950s, features 21-year-old actress Lili Reinhart, who plays 16-year-old Betty Cooper (the blonde counterpart to Archie’s brunette girlfriend, Veronica Lodge), stripping down to black, lacy undergarments and performing a sexy, burlesque dance on a stripper pole. A group of middle-aged folks — including her boyfriend’s father and her own mother — sit in the audience.
Social media reacted.
BETTY COOPER DID NOT JUST STRIP EWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEW
— lu (@bocasbaudelaire) December 7, 2017
Betty Cooper just did a strip tease to Mad World
— O Christmas G (@GeorgieAnders) December 8, 2017
— mali (@MKhamkhay) December 7, 2017
last time i checked betty cooper was a minor. so can someone tell my why this show decided to put in a scene of a minor stripping in a strip club full of grown men, and thought it was a good idea? pic.twitter.com/gQl3CKT6rM
— laq,, 13 (@8Oswheeler) December 8, 2017
did betty cooper just do a strip tease in front of her boyfriend's father and her own mother #Riverdale
— Suburban Mom (@Suzzi_Kafer) December 7, 2017
Cosmopolitan wrote of the scene, “There’s something unsettling about seeing a high school student do what Betty did at a business that’s probably serving alcohol to underage kids,” and Entertainment Weekly prefaced its recap with, “AND NOW WE’VE MADE IT TO THE MOST CRINGEWORTHY EVENT OF YOUR LIFE.”
The scene is reminiscent of a 2007 episode in the first season of Gossip Girl in which high schooler Blair Waldorf, played by then 21-year-old actress Leighton Meester, reeling from her breakup with Nate Archibald, hits a nightclub, drinks champagne, and strips on a stage. Scandalous 10 years ago; unimaginable in a #MeToo world where seemingly every day, men are accused of sexual misconduct.
“No matter the context, a scene involving an underage girl sexualized on a stage does nothing to further the cultural conversation about consent,” parenting expert Sharon Silver, creator of Proactive Parenting, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “That said, the public reaction is a gift — it forces us to examine ourselves and literally strip away the depth of systemic sexism.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Eminem is still using the word ‘retarded’ — why that’s an issue
- This sexy photo shoot proves once and for all that size doesn’t define someone
- Angela Lansbury to sexual abuse victims: ‘We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that.’