Gigi told me she and her fellow Beronica shippers “would love to see Betty and Veronica in a romantic relationship even if it isn’t [the] endgame,” citing the importance of “positive representation” for gay and bisexual women in the media. “Two iconic girls who have been fighting over the same guy since the 1940s realizing that maybe they feel something for one another instead? I think that would be a huge and important shift in terms of representation and taking the industry forward,” she told me.
Sarah said she imagines — or “headcanons” — Veronica as bisexual and Betty as a lesbian. She told me nearly every female-female pairing on TV that she’s invested in has ended up with one party dead. “The situation of lesbian/bi representation on TV is absolutely abysmal,” she wrote. “The bar is literally on the floor and writers keep finding ways to dig under it. Ideal lesbian/representation would mean adequate screentime, racial diversity, diversity of gender expression and identity, and like a single lesbian writer proofreading the scripts to make sure nothing about the writing [is] terribly offensive — and I don’t even think those standards are that hard to meet. But currently, writers can’t even have two white femme women played by straight actresses kiss without one of them dying.”
Sabrina, an 18-year-old film student from Tulsa, Oklahoma, echoed Gigi’s and Sarah’s remarks. “I would personally love to see Betty and Veronica together because as a gay woman, it’d be nice to have some real representation,” she wrote in an email, “instead of a vampire and a human, or a zombie-apocalypse relationship. This is a relationship [between] two girls in high school that could happen in real life.”
For her part, Lili Reinhart is well aware of the Beronica shippers. “I’ve been tweeted at every day — ‘make Beronica endgame,’ that’s what they say,” she told me after the TCA panel. “And I’m like, I would love to, but it’s not my decision!” She added, “Betty and Veronica are best friends, and that’s how it is. There’s no romance there, as much as we’d love to indulge the fans. But there is a little kiss that you see.” Still, Reinhart was careful to end on a note of coy optimism: “But I mean, who knows.”
Riverdale premieres Thursday, Jan. 26 on the CW.