Camila Mendes is an advocate for body positivity — so when years-old, fat-shaming tweets from her Riverdale costar Charles Melton went viral he made sure to give her a call.
Mendes said that Melton, 27, called her “personally” to apologize.
“He was devastated — he felt really sorry about it and he called me personally and he said, with everything that I stand for, [that] he’s really sorry,” the actress, 23, told Access. Mendes added that the old tweets from 2011 and 2012 that resurfaced on June 17th are no longer an accurate depiction of Melton.
“I know Charles, I know he’s not actually a bad person,” she said. “And I think it’s a matter of sometimes you tweet something a long time ago and they’re buried in there and they come out, and it sucks, and I do not agree with anything he said or support those statements, but I know that’s not who he is.”
Melton apologized publicly on June 19th in a statement to E!, saying, “I’m truly sorry for making inconsiderate comments several years ago and apologize to anyone I hurt. What I posted and said was immature, offensive and inappropriate. I am ashamed of how I acted and there is no excuse for that behavior.”
“I was super proud, because that’s a vulnerable thing,” Mendes said. “Especially when a photo like that surfaces that you don’t feel good about and then everyone’s commenting on it and saying these awful things. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is give people more reason to talk about it, but she did, and I think that’s even stronger.”
Mendes’ strong body positivity platform stems from her past history with eating disorders. The actress first spoke out about her struggles with restrictive eating in October, and in February said that she’s “done with dieting.”
She admitted to PEOPLE in May that she sometimes doubts her decision, and has a “fear of losing control when it comes to eating disorders,” but she leans on her friends for support, and looks up to stars like Rihanna and Ashley Graham for inspiration.
“I think we’re getting to that point where there are different types of beauty and we just need to understand that,” Mendes said. “I know I eat healthy and I know I work out and I know I lead a healthy lifestyle. So why try to push myself to look a certain way because the fashion industry has told me that that’s the way you should look?”