In late 2021, Petsch appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show where they discussed the impact Cheryl had on many LGBTQ+ “Riverdale” fans.
Petsch explained, “I think the coolest thing I’ve been able to do as an actor is for my art to touch someone’s life in such a way. A few fans came out and said it was a huge inspiration for her to come out, which was incredible.” Barrymore responded by stressing how important it is for young queer fans to see someone like Cheryl on the shows they watch , to which Petsch wholeheartedly agreed.
The actor also discussed the fact that she could tell from reading the pilot that Cheryl was a lesbian, reaching out to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on the subject. When asked how she knew this crucial detail about her character, Petsch replied, “I don’t know how to explain it, I just knew it in my gut. She had to kiss a guy in season 1 and that was validation for me. like, she sure doesn’t like men.”