A Muslim superhero will join the ranks of DC’s “Legends of Tomorrow” when the show returns for its third season on the CW Network.
The executive producer of the show, Marc Guggenheim, said that adding the Muslim character was done in response to President Donald Trump winning the 2016 election.
“You might have heard there was this election,” Guggenheim said last Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Variety reported. “Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers’ room was making this character Muslim. That was very important to us not to make a political statement or make it a thing… [because] someone’s race, religion or sexual orientation is not the only aspect of their character.”
Tala Ashe will be playing Zari Adrianna Tomaz, a Muslim computer hacker from the future. Tomaz is also known to be a superhero character named after the Egyptian goddess “Isis.”
Guggenheim pointed out that the name “Isis ” won’t be used in the show.
“It’s pretty simple: You might’ve heard there’s this terrorist organization called ISIS,” he said, EW reported. “They’re kind of ruining things out there in the world. We just didn’t want the baggage, quite frankly, especially given the fact that we are doing a Muslim superhero, it was just like opening up a can of worms. It’s just not worth it.”
“Representation is a really powerful thing,” Ashe said. “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.”
Executive producer Phil Klemmer said that the character will have a different perspective on things than other characters in the show.
“We want somebody to bring a new point of view,” he said. “Whenever you’re doing a scene with eight people, everybody needs to have a distinct voice … It’s interesting to bring in someone who has a totally new perspective on history.”