“Stranger Things” Creators Are in Hot Water After Admitting They Forced Two Child Actors to Kiss As a Joke
Warning! Mild spoilers for Stranger Things 2 below.
In order to drum up extra excitement for the already much-loved second season of Stranger Things, the producers at Netflix created a streamable after show called Beyond Stranger Things in which the show’s creators and cast break each episode down.
While the cast has been sharing adorable stories about filming the second season of their smash show (like Eleven and Mike’s end of season kiss), during BST, the show’s creators admitted that they added a second, unscripted, kid kiss. Why? To troll one of the actors, who didn’t want to do it. Needless to say, people aren’t exactly thrilled with the revelation.
BST host Jim Rash starts the segment asking about the kiss between Max and Lucas, and immediately, 15-year-old actress Sadie Sink (Max) growls and points a finger at the Duffer Brothers. One of the brothers then says, “No, it was all your fault though.” Sink’s “fault” was that she didn’t want to do an unscripted onscreen kiss with her costar, Caleb McLaughlin, because it made her uncomfortable.
“It is not my fault! It was not written in the script. The kiss was not written in the script,” Sink insists. She then describes how, on the first day of filming the Snow Ball scene, “One of you — I think it was you, Ross — you say, ‘Ooh, Sadie, you ready for the kiss?’ I’m like, ‘What?! No! That’s not in the script… that’s not happening.'”
While the Duffers may think this light hazing is hilarious, they essentially forced a girl who’d never kissed anyone before into kissing someone in front of hundreds of people. It’s not clear whether or not they asked McLaughlin if he was comfortable with being a pawn in their game to make Sink feel uncomfortable, but fans are not impressed with the producers.
Fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the show for making the actress feel uncomfortable with what they were asking.
Sink admits that the entire day leading up to shooting the Snow Ball she was, “stressed out,” and although it’s possible that the producers spoke at greater length with the actress, her parents, or anyone else to ensure her comfort, no one has followed up on the anecdote as of yet.
As for Sink’s very real concerns about the scene’s bonus kiss, her discomfort should not have been taken as lightly as it appears to have been by her producers. And, without any further information about exactly how these children eventually consented to kissing onscreen, we can only go by what was said during the BST episode.
Kids — even child actors — should have a right to say no to unwanted and unwarranted touch at any time, whether from a family member or on a film shoot. Hopefully, the Duffers’ anecdote will be clarified with a bit more context, but in the meantime, let’s remember that body autonomy isn’t just for adults.
What do you think about the Duffer’s hazing of Sadie Sink? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Astrid Stawiarz/Getty)