In the age of Trump, TV producers in Hollywood feel it’s necessary to expose viewers to groups that they allege President Trump of targeting and demonizing. One such way that DC Comics is contributing to the mix is by adding a Muslim superhero to their show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, on The CW.
During Wednesday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, the show’s executive producer Marc Guggenheim announced that they’re introducing a Muslim computer hacker from the future named Zari Adrianna Tomaz, played by Tala Ashe.
“You might have heard there was this election,” Guggenheim joked. “Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers room was making this character Muslim.”
“Representation is a really powerful thing,” said Ashe. “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.”
Ashe isn’t wrong. Representation is very powerful, which is why it’s unfortunate that Ashe’s character’s superhero name is actually “Isis.” Adrianna Tomaz is one of her alter-egos.
Of course, Isis in DC Comics has nothing to do with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that’s been terrorizing thousands of innocent people, throwing gay people off of roofs, and targeting religious minorities. In the comics, Isis is based off the Egyptian goddess.
One important point that Guggenheim stressed is that the characters in the show aren’t defined by their race, religion, or sexual orientation. However, Guggenheim said that his personal experiences with his sister-in-law, who is Muslim, inspired him to create the character.
“She was talking about how difficult it is to be a Muslim-American in the current political climate,” Guggenheim explained. “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.”