Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan Has the Best Clapback to Critics of Show's Diversity
Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope on the hit Netflix period drama, cited the series' popularity in her Tuesday tweets
Nicola Coughlan knows that numbers don't lie.
On Tuesday, the Bridgerton star — who plays Penelope Featherington in the recently released, wildly popular Netflix period drama — celebrated the series' success on Twitter while simultaneously calling out naysayers who have slammed the cast's diversity.
"You know the way some people were like 'Diversity in period drama doesn't work' ... 63 million households thought it did tho so," wrote Coughlan, 33, adding a skull emoji to the end of her tweet.
"Remember people were trying to downvote the show on IMDB cos it was so diverse?" the Derry Girls actress continued in a follow-up post. "You can't downvote us being Netflix fifth biggest original release ever."
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Created by Chris Van Dusen (Scandal, Grey's Anatomy) and based on a series of romance novels by bestselling author Julia Quinn, Bridgerton follows a family of eight siblings as they navigate the trials and tribulations of the marriage market in Regency London.
While the always-iconic Julie Andrews narrates the series as the mysterious Lady Whistledown (the author of the salacious society papers that do the rounds in the community), Phoebe Dynevor (Younger) stars as Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter of the powerful family whose society debut meets a (sexy) hiccup or two along the way.
In a recent interview with Town & Country, Coughlan talked about landing the role in Bridgerton, saying, "To be part of that world — what Shonda [Rhimes] has done for television in terms of representing women, difficult women, unlikeable women, complicated women, in terms of diversity, in terms of representing LGBTQ characters and stories — it's a dream."
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Recently chatting with PEOPLE, Quinn discussed the adored — and complicated — characters in her books, the "vibrant world" Van Dusen has created and the importance of the Netflix adaptation featuring a diverse cast.
While Quinn didn't incorporate characters of color in her books, she was excited to see the show creators commit to "color-conscious casting."
"I'm Jewish and when I would read a book and one of the characters would be Jewish, I'd be like, 'Oh, that's me.' And it was very powerful," she explained. "And so now I feel like I'm able to start to extrapolate that and be like, 'You know what, everybody needs that.' "
Quinn also told PEOPLE that getting the series made "was like this incredible fairytale" for her: "It's just like a Cinderella story. My one option didn't just get made — it got made by Shondaland."