"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don't agree," said Goldwater. "I think Riverdale is a place where everyone should feel welcome and safe. From my point of view, I'm proud of the stance we've taken here, and I don't think it's overtly political on any level."
Depending on the success of the final installments of "Life with Archie," Riverdale Podcast host Merrifield won't be surprised if Archie Comics takes on other topical issues in the near future.
"I'm sure there will be a tearful moment for me," he said of the character's death. "But this isn't goodbye. He'll be back in a couple of weeks in a book of reprints and the teenage 'Archie' will continue. Archie will still be around. He's always around."
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.