DC’s “Titans” has found its Jericho.
Deaf activist, artist and model Chella Man, who’s transgender, has been cast in the role, portraying the mute superhero who uses sign language to communicate with his teammates.
Man told HuffPost that Jericho has a special significance for him as a Deaf individual who regularly communicates using sign language.
“Jericho’s primary mode of communication hits close to home,” Man said via email. “I rarely saw sign language authentically represented on screen growing up, so this incredible opportunity has made my heart soar.”
“Titans” cast Man for its second season. Jericho, the superhero son of villain Deathstroke, can possess anyone he makes eye contact with.
Man’s involvement in the series is a win for representation. According to the Ruderman Family Foundation, 95 percent of characters with disabilities are depicted by able-bodied actors in television. The significance of his casting isn’t lost on him. He said it’s “imperative” to cast actors with disabilities for disabled characters.
“Individuals with disabilities have long been misrepresented and underrepresented by all industries,” he wrote. “Casting disabled actors/actresses for disabled roles will aid to authentically represent and deconstruct stereotypes built around our identities.”
Man said that he doesn’t feel any of his traits are limitations and that with his acting, he can exhibit that.
“Take it from a Deaf, queer, Jewish person of color who has always dreamed of being a superhero and has now been granted that exact opportunity,” he said.