Noah Schnapp is famous for his role as Stranger Things’ Will Byers, having debuted in season one as a character in the famous Netflix show that is now approaching its fourth (and thankfully, not final) season.
Despite his popularity, Schnapp has become the subject of controversy, after a video surfaced that showed the actor singing along to Chris Brown’s and Lil Dicky’s comedic song, “Freaky Friday,” which details the journey of Jewish rapper Lil Dicky waking up in Chris Brown’s body.
The song features a humorous line that asks whether or not he can “say the n-word” — a line that Schnapp repeated in the video as he sang along with friends.
Schnapp has since come under fire for the viral clip, and issued an apology to social media, where he clarified that he replaced the actual racial slur with the word “neighbor.”
“Recently, a video from last summer has gotten out of me singing the word ‘neighbor’ over the n-word,” Schnapp explained. “I would truly never say the n-word and I’m not [that] type of person. Using the word ‘neighbor’ was just something me and my camp friends did.”
While Schanpp also acknowledged that he shouldn’t have replaced the word altogether, critics are still taking issue with his apology post, with many decrying the young actor for using a substitute word instead of just remaining silent.
“Even if he was saying neighbor, it’s disgusting,” one commenter wrote via YouTube.
“Whether he said neighbor or the n-word, it wasn’t right,” another chimed in. “I expected better from him.”
Schnapp, a 15-year-old, has long been a beloved member of the Stranger Things cast, which features a slew of teenaged stars in Gaten Materazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobbie Brown, among others.
However, it seems that fans are now seeing the youngster in a different light — in spite of his sincere and lengthy apology for the year-old video.