DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Introduces Muslim Character In Response To Trump

Ian Miles Cheong Contributor
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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is getting an all new cast member as a response to Trump. Actress Tala Ashe will be joining the superhero-themed TV series to the role of Zari Adrianna Tomaz, better known as Isis in her original incarnation as a Saturday morning TV series in the ‘70s.

You couldn’t make this up.

“You might have heard there was this election,” joked executive producer Marc Guggenheim as he announced the addition of the new character during a Beverly Hills press tour. “Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers room was making this character Muslim.”

It’s worth noting that Isis wasn’t originally Muslim. Instead, she was an everywoman who discovered a magical ancient amulet that allowed her to transform into the Egyptian goddess Isis, with no emphasis on her ethnicity or religion. She was played by actress Joanna Cameron in the ‘70s and later by Erica Durance in Smallville in its 10th season. The character has also appeared in DC comic books in the mid-2000s.

“Representation is a really powerful thing,” said Ashe, per Variety. “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.”

According to the publication, Guggenheim emphasized that the writers would never define a character by their race, religion, or sexual orientation, but that they chose to make an exception due to Guggenheim’s own experiences with a Muslim family member.

“She was talking about how difficult it is to be a Muslim-American in the current political climate,” said the writer. “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 added that the choice to add Isis was also done to increase the representation of women on the show. “There weren’t enough women quite frankly,” he said. “It’s something we were looking to address.”

It remains to be seen how the show’s writers reconcile the character’s religious background with the clashing Egyptian mythology associated with the character—or whether they keep the character’s original name, Isis.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.