Lili Reinhart: I really wish other people in the industry would speak out too

Lili Reinhart is the 20-something actress perhaps best known for her lead role in Riverdale, second best known for her supporting role in Hustlers, and third best known for her consistent outspokenness on body image and mental health. Or maybe the second and third are swapped. Last I wrote about Lili, she masterfully shaded Kim K for promoting unhealthy weight loss without ever mentioning her name. Lili doubled down on her comments at the time, but apparently took a social media hiatus after the fact. Now, she’s talking about that in vague terms and doubling down on the general concept of speaking out about things that are important to her, regardless of the backlash.

It’s jarring when a big-name talent arrives for an interview on their own — either in-person or via the telephone or Zoom — because it almost never happens. Not without the buffer of publicists, assistants, handlers, and other assorted hangers-on. Reinhart calls me, right on time. No one patches her through. No one else is on the line. That’s a surprising move, particularly for the “Riverdale” and “Hustlers” star who has earned a reputation for being outspoken when left to her own devices (often literally).

In May, the actress and producer made headlines when she took to Instagram after the Met Gala to talk about how upset she was to see so many celebrities “starving” themselves in the name of fashion. “To walk on a red carpet and do an interview where you say how starving you are… because you haven’t eaten carbs in the last month… all to fit in a f—ing dress?,” she wrote on an Instagram Story. “So wrong. So f—ed on 100s of levels. To openly admit to starving yourself for the sake of the Met Gala. When you know very well that millions of young men and women are looking up to you and listening to your every word. The ignorance is otherworldly and disgusting.”

That unleashed a slew of stories with headlines blazing about Reinhart “slamming” other celebrities; Reinhart later opted to take a social media hiatus. Speaking out is nothing new for Reinhart; she’s done that for years, often centered on her own personal life or the wackier machinations of The CW’s nutty “Riverdale,” in which she plays the iconic Betty Cooper. The driving force isn’t grabbing headlines, but a real desire to talk about the causes that are important to her.

“Sometimes I do feel like a little bit of the black sheep speaking out,” Reinhart said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “‘Why is no one else saying anything about this?’ Then I realize why they’re not saying anything about it because the second I do, here come 30 articles saying that I’m ‘slamming’ a celebrity. I’m actually just sharing an opinion that is incredibly important to me.”

She added, “I really wish other people in the industry did that. We’re just collectively scared to go against the grain and a lot of people just hop on a bandwagon. … There’s no guidebook here, no one teaches you how to wake up to 20,000 tweets telling you that you should kill yourself or you should get a nose job or that you’re fat. Whatever the case may be, you just don’t sign up for that and no one actually teaches you how to handle that, you’re just expected to. There’s nothing more horrifying than seeing your name trend on Twitter, I’ll tell you that.”

Reinhart knows her social media reputation, but that’s not something she weighs against the idea of staying silent. “I definitely go on rants on social media, I’m very guilty of that,” she said. “I don’t like to just sit idly by, I don’t like to keep my mouth shut. I know people on Twitter hate me. There are articles and everyone is like, ‘God, does this girl ever shut up and stop complaining?’ No, actually, I don’t, because I’ve got a lot to say and no one else really seems to be.”

[From IndieWire]

I get why she says that seeing her name trend on Twitter is horrifying. Usually when people trend it is for something negative. Lili caught some heat for supposedly slamming Kim K, but honestly what she said was true and not even mean, wasn’t targeted, and was more a commentary on diet culture than a particular person. I do think the difference between Lili and someone like, say, Zoe Kravitz after the Oscars, is Lili was speaking on a topic that she’s shared opinions about many times before. She wasn’t just piling on randomly or adding her voice unnecessarily to a virtue-signaling chorus. Lili has talked about body image issues for years. In her role as a young actress on a show geared toward teens and young adults, Lili has been subjected to her fair share of body critical headlines and as such has rightfully developed an opinion about how those expectations harm and affect young women. It’s a shame that sharing her perspective results in her getting nasty, negative replies, but I’m glad she isn’t letting that deter her from speaking her mind, despite how difficult it may be to handle the responses she gets. I honestly hope she keeps talking because it’s good that there’s a voice telling young women there isn’t just one way they are supposed to look.

Photos credit: and via Instagram

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10 Responses to “Lili Reinhart: I really wish other people in the industry would speak out too”

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  1. BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

    I love everything she said here.
    I’m known as “the troublemaker” at work too because I speak up when I see something that is unfair or just plain wrong while the boys just go about their business as usual (I’m the only female in my department). One doesn’t make many friends but the alternative would be to just willfully look away. I’d rather have my conscience and a “bad” reputation, thank you very much.

    • Emily says:

      Same. I’d much rather speak up, defend myself and others, then play office politics.

      Media is part of the job for actors, and she’s not playing the PR nice game.

      • HelloDolly! says:

        I also speak up at work, but it’s hard for me to not be annoyed at my colleagues that don’t speak up. What they do feels selfish, particularly when I take the heat for speaking up in a myriad of ways. I would do it anyway, but I just wish my friends that tell me all sorts of things in private would do the same.

        When I was the ONLY peer to directly critique a colleague for racism after an hour of “discussing the event” at a meeting, a peer later had the gall to tell me I was “TOO NICE” in my delivery. Another male colleague who I have critiqued for sexism regularly barbs me with little comments during meetings now. He even looks for ways to get me in trouble–he has gone as far to try and screenshot my comments (a friend of his told me) in case I say something wrong.

      • Jess says:

        I hear you, HelloDolly! I’m the only one who speaks up at work too, and have been verbally attacked in front of the whole office as a result. Not only do I know that a lot of my peers agree with me but are too afraid to speak up, they didn’t speak up or even check on me after I was viciously attacked. Sometimes I feel like I’m a whack-a-mole, because I can’t stay quiet but it is so hard to constantly be attacked and punished for speaking up. I’m hoping to get out of my toxic work situation one of these days and hopefully into a more supportive place where I won’t be punished for speaking up. Good for Lili for doing her part. We all need to be speaking up!

      • HelloDolly! says:

        @Jess thank you!!! Yes, we all need to speak up, and I am sorry about the toxic workplace and awful incident you endured. And lol whack-a-mole! Exactly! I am the same! It’s difficult for me to stay quiet but its also difficult to be implicitly punished for saying these topics and statements. TBH, sometimes I think my colleagues rely on me to say something, so they just don’t? At times now I will stay silent and hope someone speaks up. I am trying to give others the opportunity, ya know? This has actually worked a few times!

  2. Christine says:

    Isn’t this the same girl who posted a thirsty topless pic of herself while promoting justice for Breonna Taylor?

  3. Moo says:

    I had never heard of this actress but noticed yesterday she is in a Netflix movie trending in the top 10. I added it to my list and now I’m looking forward to watching it.

    • Jill says:

      I had never heard of her either until I watched that movie last night, and I will never get those brain cells back… save yourself! She’s not bad in the movie, it’s just… a bad movie.

  4. rea says:

    LR speaking out is good but again she does realize people want to speak out but they can’t for fear of repercussions. Especially if they are a minority.

    I still disagree about how Zoe was treated. Everyone Irregardless of their past vocal actions should be able to speak out against – violence. It’s wrong and should be called out.