Vulture spoke with Gregg Araki about his new show, Now Apocalypse, and they briefly went into the episode of Riverdale he directed (aka the one where Archie becomes a wrestler). The above excerpt are his thoughts about the way main character Archie Andrews is objectified to tantalize without it really going anywhere.
Some more excerpts about his thoughts on the matter.
-On the fact that there were too many t-shirts under those wrestling singlets: "Network note. Archie was not. And, I mean, hello, he’s the lead of the show. He was the most...heh. Archie wasn’t wearing a T-shirt. Roberto wanted like a mix. But there was a lot of singlets and a lot of skin. It was like the gayest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve done a lot of gay movies. I was like, 'Whoa, this is pretty gay.'"
-On the character of Beau being a hot het white guy that one can fantasize about but not actually get with: "Yeah, but I think that’s actually written into [Now Apocalypse] in a way. It’s almost like a comment on it. You won’t see that on Riverdale. I’m not gonna comment on [Archie’s] objectification in the way he’s fetishized."
-On Riverdale being a network show: "It’s a mainstream show. It has a different demographic. I love Roberto, Riverdale’s great, I do think it has a huge gay audience, and good for them. And I think that it’s a young audience that maybe is just one toe out of the closet. That’s fucking great for them, but that’s not what our show is. We have queer characters; they have queer sex. They can take their clothes off."