'Legends of Tomorrow' Casts Muslim-American Superhero Because of Trump

'Legends of Tomorrow' Casts Muslim-American Superhero Because of Trump

Meet Legends of Tomorrow‘s newest superhero, Zari Tomaz, played by Tala Ashe.

For its upcoming season 3, The CW has signed on the Iraninan-American actress to portray a Muslim-American hacktivist from the year 2042.

The show’s executive producers reportedly created the character in response to the anti-Muslim rhetoric involved in Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign and first six months in office.

“A lot of my work as an artist has been about representing not only Muslim characters, but immigrant characters or third culture kids in an accurate, nuanced way,” Tala told BuzzFeed News. “I’m definitely looking to further do that on this show. I think it’s very powerful to see yourself expressed in media and speaking specifically to the Muslim-American thing. Because of the climate of our world and what’s going on, I think the depictions primarily in media and of course in the news have been overwhelmingly negative about Muslims and Muslim-Americans. So I think it’s even more essential.”

Click inside to hear what else she had to say…

“Representation is a really powerful thing,” she continued. “I know that when I was growing up, when I watched television, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. It broadens your perspective and I think what’s so lovely about the show is the Legends are this tapestry that reflects the America of today. … I haven’t encountered many [Muslim characters on TV and in film] like this who are being represented as like, this is just another person who is part of the tapestry of America. That I love.”

“I think it’s important to say what [Zari] is in the same way we say Caity [Loitz]‘s character is bisexual,” Tala added. “And if that comes up in a storyline, we address it. If it doesn’t, it’s not sort of the thing on my forehead all the time. I think that’s really smart and it hasn’t been done as often as I wish it would be done. … She’s just as American as she is Muslim.”

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Credit: Frederick M. Brown; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Legends of Tomorrow, Tala Ashe, Television