Creators of the superhero television series “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” told Variety Wednesday that they have created an entirely new character for the show in direct response to the election of President Donald Trump.
On hand at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills were showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Phil Klemmer, along with actress Tala Ashe, to introduce their latest character: Zari Adrianna Tomaz, a Muslim computer hacker. Ashe will play Tomaz, a character that Guggenheim says all the writers were “gravitating” towards creating since Trump’s election.
“You might have heard there was this election,” cracked Guggenheim. “Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writer’s room was making this character Muslim.”
For Ashe, the goal was to absolutely get political. Not of Caucasian descent, she doesn’t recall seeing anyone that looks like her in the movies while growing up.
“Representation is a really powerful thing,” said Ashe, who plays the Muslim superhero. “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 represents America today.”
Guggenheim spoke about being influenced by the struggles of his Muslim sister-in-law.
“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,” Guggenheim said, according to Variety.
The producers adapted the Tomaz character from one of the comic book characters, a Muslim hacker named Isis. But the show didn’t want to get that political and decided to change the name for the show.
“We just didn’t want the baggage,” Guggenheim said. “Especially given that we are doing a Muslim superhero, it was just like opening a can of worms.”
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