Following the casting of Ozark’s Esai Morales as Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, in DC Universe’s Titans, DC has announced that Chella Man has been cast as Jericho, Deathstroke’s son, in the show’s upcoming second season. This will be the 20-year-old model’s acting debut and with his casting, the DC Universe continues its push for inclusivity.
Chella Man, a Jewish, Asian, Deaf, queer, transgender artist and activist, may not be well known in Hollywood (yet) but he is a more recognizable figure in the LGBTQ+ community. The New York City based artist has amassed a large following on Instagram and YouTube, where he has documented his gender transition and living with deafness. Man has also contributed columns for various publications, such as Teen Vogue and Them. Man is an outspoken advocate for the Deaf community and trans visibility. Now he’ll be adding ‘actor’ to his already impressive résumé.
For those unfamiliar with the comics, Jericho, real name Joseph Wilson, is the youngest son of villain Deathstroke. While Jericho has been a villain in the past, he is known most for being a gentle natured hero and member of the Teen Titans. Jericho has the power to possess people simply by making eye contact with them and was rendered mute when his vocal chords were severed during a kidnapping. He communicates entirely in sign language and, in recent iterations, is bisexual. Man is bringing so much of his own identity to this role, as he’s fluent in ASL and identifies as queer.
Representation matters, and Chella Man’s casting will bring visibility to a multitude of people who have not gotten the representation they deserve, which is very much something he strives for. In an interview for Teen Vogue, Man stated, “There is an extreme lack of representation for young, Deaf, queer, Jewish, Asian, transgender artists — sorry, that is a mouthful. So, I decided to be my own representation.” He added, “I strive to be a transparent role model I wish I had as a queer, deaf kid from a conservative town.”
DC is no stranger to inclusive casting. Over on the CW, Supergirl has cast transgender activist Nicole Maines as Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, television’s first trans superhero, for which the network was rightfully applauded. The network also cast queer actress Ruby Rose as Batwoman, a Jewish, lesbian heroine, though Rose’s casting proved more controversial as she is not Jewish. Chella Man is a proud and positive addition to DC’s inclusive casting, and he’ll be able to bring his own life experiences as a queer and Deaf person to bring Jericho to life.
Titans Season 2 is set to being principle photography in April. Season 1 is now streaming on DC’s streaming platform, DC Universe.
(Photo: MaryV Benoit)