Image credit: Chella Man’s Instagram (@chellaman)
There may not be a lot of diversity in today’s current crop of superhero movies, whether in front or behind the camera, but thankfully it is a different story when it comes to television. In yet another meaningful stride when it comes to representation, the DC Universe show Titans has cast a deaf trans artist for its upcoming second season.
Twenty-year old Youtube star, artist, and model Chella man has been cast as Jericho, a superhero who can possess other people when he locks eyes with them. Jericho is also unable to speak because his vocal chords have been severed by assassins, making the casting of Man doubly momentous as a person with a disability will be playing a character with a disability.
Man talked about the casting on his Instagram, calling it “a dream come true.”
View this post on Instagram
…SECRET’S OUT! It is UNREAL to finally announce I will be making my acting debut as Jericho on Season 2 of @titansnetflix with @thedcuniverse ! In the comics, the character has always used sign language, as his vocal cords severed by assassins. Jericho’s mysterious powers are activated by his gaze — if he locks eyes with people he can control their bodies. As a trans, Deaf, Jewish person of color, I have always reminded myself of the power in my differences. It is a dream come true, now, as I will be able to showcase this power on the Titans. HUGE thank you to all who have supported me throughout this process! Can’t wait for you all to see it! Photo: @maryvbenoit Art: @dccomics
Deadline reports that Man has 173,000 subscribers on his Youtube page, and was also signed by IMG as a model late last year.
Man’s casting is the latest in a series of progressive casting decisions on the part of DC. Last year, trans actress Nicole Maines was cast as the trans superhero Dreamer. Out lesbian actress Ruby Rose was also cast as lesbian superhero Batwoman last year.
Movies on both the DC and Marvel side have not been as diverse, although Marvel is reportedly looking for an openly gay actor to play a lead role in The Eternals.
What do you guys think about this casting? Are there any more LGBTQ superheroes that you would like to see make the transition either to the small screen or the big screen? Tell us about it in the comments section below!