Legends of Tomorrow’s writers have always said that they take a point not to define a character by their race, religion, or sexual orientation. And now, in its third season, the show has made an addition to its cast in the form of Zari Adrianna Tomaz, a Muslim computer hacker, who will be played by actress Tala Ashe (Odyssey).
According to Variety, executive producer Marc Guggenheim said during the Television Critics Association press tour, that the reason behind that particular casting is what’s currently going under Donald Trump’s presidency, with its travel ban of six predominantly Muslim countries.
“You might have heard there was this election. Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writer’s room was making this character Muslim.”
Guggenheim shared a story about his Muslim sister-in-law, and how it impacted him to make this decision.
“She was talking about how difficult it is to be a Muslim-American in the current political climate. Having a character who’s a computer hacker and is from the future but also happens to be Muslim, it’s a nice, important aspect of her character.”
Ashe, an Iranian-American actress, supported Guggenheim’s desire for more diversity because of how important representation is.
“Representation is a really powerful thing. When I was growing up watching television, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. When I think of the kid version of myself, I think it broadens your perspective. What I think is so lovely about this show is that the Legends are this tapestry that represent America today.”
Guggenheim added his opinion on why we have so many superheroes’ shows and why letting politics have an impact on the show.
“It’s not just politicians — a lot of the heroes of real life are letting us down. We’re being let down as a society. I think the reason why the audience and the creatives are gravitating toward superheroes is because it’s wish-fulfillment. They’re looking to find a little bit of hope and a little bit of escapism that quite frankly doesn’t exist.”
But she’s not just Muslim, she’s another female to the team.
According to Guggenheim, there weren’t enough females on the team.
“It’s something we were looking to address.”
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Dc’s Legends of Tomorrow is set to premiere this October 10, on the CW.