On the longest episode of Nerd & Tie so far, we mourn the passing of John Hurt, Warner Bros wants to make an American live action Attack on Titan, Star Wars Episode VIII finally has a title, the Axanar lawsuit has finally been settled, Jughead apparently isn’t asexual in Riverdale, Comic Excitement Convention flops, Phoenix Comicon has changed its staffing policies a second time, Angry Goat Productions is looking either incompetent or shady, and Evercon has filed for a restraining order against Scott Windorski.
One of the few mainstream representations of Asexuality in pop culture has been around for a long time, and that’s Archie Comics’ Jughead. He was only confirmed as such about a year ago, but has effectively (with only a few examples to the contrary) been portrayed as disinterested in the affections of any gender.
With Riverdale coming to The CW later this month, there was actually some excitement at the idea of increasing the (fairly rare) representation of asexual characters on television. Unfortunately, that seems not to be what we’re getting.
According to Hollywood Life, while actor Cole Sprouse (who will portray the be-hatted friend of Archie in Riverdale) tried to fight for Jughead’s asexuality in the series, it apparently just wasn’t in the cards.
“Jughead will have romances with women… and burgers,” Cole Sprouse told HollywoodLife.com in an exclusive interview during Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, adding that he actually fought for the character’s asexuality, but knew it wasn’t his role to make those types of decision. “I come from an educational environment that really praises, as do I, the forms of representation that are otherwise lacking in our public media. But at the end of the day, I still had to do my job.”
Sprouse is hopeful that the character could possibly still end up identifying as asexual down the road in the series, but nothing’s confirmed yet.
Honestly? I’m a little disappointed. Positive representation of canonically asexual characters is sparse on televsion right now. Off the top of my head, the only notable one I can think of is Todd from BoJack Horseman, and that’s on a streaming service, not broadcast. Hopefully the creative team behind the show comes to their senses and decides not to miss this important opportunity.
When we first heard that Greg Berlanti was helping develop an adaptation of the Archie comics called Riverdale for The CW, we expected it to look good – but maybe not this dark? The CW has released an extended trailer that has everyone asking who killed Laura Palmer Jason Cherry.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, far from it. But if you give me a rainy small town (introduced by the town sign) in a bunch of evergreens where “nothing’s as it seems” with a murdered high schooler, I’m always going to jump to Twin Peaks.
It’s in my nature.
But if Riverdale turns out to be a (more) Teenager-centric Twin Peaks, I’m pretty much okay with that. It’d be a unique way to look at all-American Archie and the gang, and I trust the creative team behind the project. I think I was just expecting a place where you’d get Luke Danes serving you in the local diner instead of Shelly Johnson.
Ah well, you can get a damn fine cup of coffee either way.