Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has responded to viral footage that surfaced alongside comments saying it shows the actor using the n-word. Schnapp, who plays Will Byers on the hit Netflix series, said in a statement shared to his Instagram Stories that the footage actually shows him using the word "neighbor."
The video in question was circulating with the #noahschnappisoverparty hashtag early Wednesday and sees Schnapp singing along with friends to Lil Dicky and Chris Brown's 2018 collab "Freaky Friday," the lyrics and music video of which imagine each artist stepping into the other's life, as was the case for the main characters in both the 1976 and 2003 editions of the movie of the same name.
In his statement, Schnapp—who also has credits in this year's Waiting for Anya and Drake's "In My Feelings" video—said the video was taken in 2019. Using "neighbor" as a "replacement word," he said, was something that he and his "camp friends" did.
"I would truly never say the n-word and I'm not [that] type of person," Schnapp said, adding that he was "sorry" for using a replacement word. "It is not my place to use one and I should [have] kept my mouth shut," he said.
No additional statement on the video, which was still being shared and criticized at the time of this writing, has been made available. In response to Schnapp's IG Stories update, some fans have been supportive of his explanation and apology while others were not as convinced.
As for the current status of Stranger Things, the wildly popular Netflix original's impending fourth season has—as is this case with a number of productions—been met with delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.