'Stranger Things' Creators Called Out for Pressuring Child Star Into Unplanned Kiss
The child expressed she was 'stressed out' about the scene, which she'd never agreed to perform.
Following a bizarre after-show interview, Stranger Things creators Ross and Matt Duffer have raised eyebrows for seemingly bullying 15-year-old Sadie Sink into kissing co-star Caleb McLaughlin.
During one episode of Beyond Stranger Things, wherein stars and crew appear to discuss behind-the-scenes details, the Duffers, Sink, McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo dissected Mad Max's romantic scene with Lucas at the Hawkins Middle School Snow Ball dance. Before long, Sink recalled her "stress" and discomfort about the scene, which she said hadn't been scripted.
Ross revealed he'd brought the idea of the kiss up to Sink as a "joke," but felt compelled to film the part after Sink's particularly negative "strong," "freaked" reaction. Thus, he said, it was Sink's "fault" that the kiss went down.
"That's why it's my fault?" Sink replied, visibly shocked.
"That's why I'm saying it's your fault," Ross responded.
While it's not abnormal for showrunners to ask that actors adapt to last-minute script changes, the fact that Ross specifically made Sink perform the scene because it made her uncomfortable didn't sit right with some fans.
Had the Duffers felt the kiss was an absolute necessity to the dance scene, they could have worked with Sink to shoot the intimate moment in a way that felt comfortable for her. Instead, they seem to have thrived on her embarrassment.
The timing of the blunder is also notably terrible, given the many women speaking out on being manipulated, harassed, or worse by men in superior positions in the entertainment industry.
The Duffers have yet to respond to the criticism.