During the DC FanDome panel in which actresses of color gathered to discuss their roles in the DC Universe and the impact of representation, actress Anna Diop honed in on the backlash she received for her role as Starfire in DC television series, Titans.
“There was a lot of backlash because some people were upset that it was a Black woman that they cast,” Diop said during the panel, titled Bawse Females of Color in the DC Universe. “And I had to lean into my friends and my family and my faith in a way that I haven’t really had to do before.”
Despite the backlash, Diop revealed that the impact her casting and performance had on marginalized people.
“But, it’s incredible to see what that meant for a lot of people, a lot of marginalized people reached out to me, be it Black or gay or trans…and it’s incredible to be even some small inspiration for them.”
Similarly, other actresses on the panel echoed Diop’s sentiments on how the impact of representation outweighed any backlash they received for their casting.
Nafessa Williams, who portrays Anissa Pierce/Thunder on The CW’s Black Lightning, emphasized the importance of LGBTQ representation in the superhero world.
“I think of all the Black lesbians who have not been able to visually see themselves when they go to the cinema or they watch their favorite TV shows,” Williams said. “And for me, it’s one thing knowing that there is a role for it, but when you’re in that role and you’re getting feedback, you realize the importance of it and how much it is necessary and how much you need it.”
Patton said, “Shortly after we aired, I remember getting a tweet from a mom and she was saying that her and her daughter were watching The Flash and her daughter was like, ‘Mommy, Iris West is so beautiful, she looks just like me. Does that mean that I’m beautiful too?’ I get teary-eyed to this day thinking about it. And I tweeted back saying, ‘Yes, tell your daughter we are beautiful. Remind her that we are all beautiful.’”
Other actresses on the panel included Shazam star Meagan Good, newly-minted Batwoman star Javicia Leslie and Diop’s Titans co-star, Damaris Lewis.
Photo: DC Universe/The CW