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Riverdale’s partnership with Bumble is troubling

Following the

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Following the "Escape to Riverdale with Bumble Sweepstakes" featured on the show, "Riverdale" continued to promote the dating app through their underage characters.

Abby Fleming '20

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Every Wednesday night, it has become a ritual for teens across the nation to settle into their couches, turn on the CW and watch the newest episode of “Riverdale”. The “Archie Comics” spinoff caters to an adolescent audience, the majority of which is comprised of girls. This is why their recent partnership with the dating app Bumble comes as both a surprise and a disappointment.

Upon the airing of their episode on Jan. 30, viewers were confronted with an ad for the Escape to Riverdale with Bumble Sweepstakes, which is essentially a contest where the winner gets to hang out with “Riverdale” star and teenage heartthrob KJ Apa, who portrays main protagonist Archie Andrews. This would all be fine, except for the fact that in order to enter the contest, you must sign up for Bumble.

The first problem with this is that Bumble requires users to be 18 or older to use their app. The show’s viewership consists largely of middle school and high school girls who would think nothing of lying about their age to spend a day with their celebrity crush. Thus, girls under 18—in other words, minors—are tempted to create a profile in a dating app where the men they will get matched with will be 18 or older.

That contest ended on Tuesday, Feb. 5. However, on the next episode of “Riverdale” on Feb. 6, another Bumble promotion was slipped right into the script. After Kevin (Casey Cott) complains about his how he’ll never find another guy to date in his school, his friend Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) says not to worry and encourages her friend to turn to online dating. Cheryl then logs into Bumble and shows Kevin his prospective new dates. In the show, Archie and friends are supposedly juniors, meaning they’re likely 16 and 17 years old and therefore not eligible for Bumble. Now that characters on the show are opening Bumble accounts, it’s more apparent that this is the beginning of a very real problem.

“Riverdale” is insinuating that it’s not only acceptable to lie about your age just to get a date, but commonplace. That’s the message that a young, impressionable audience could take away from this.

“Riverdale” has been so good in the past about talking about issues that affect teens in a useful way. Their scripts are well-written and they have created characters that are relatable. They deal with important issues, but actions speak louder than words. They can go on the show and preach against sexual violence, but promoting a partnership with Bumble has clouded a lot of their achievements.

 

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