Question of the Week: January 23th, 2017

What are your thoughts on asexual representation in Jughead?

If you haven’t heard anything about this, I’ll provide a little bit of context.  As of early 2016, Jughead is explicitly asexual in the rebooted continuity of Archie Comics.  This has reappeared in the news because The CW is running the TV series Riverdale based on Archie Comics, and the premiere is on January 26th–this Thursday.  The actor playing Jughead in Riverdale, Cole Sprouse, says he unsuccessfully fought for Jughead to be asexual.  On the other hand, the producer of Riverdale suggested the possibility that Jughead might be asexual later in the series.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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3 Responses to Question of the Week: January 23th, 2017

  1. ESF says:

    Comes across as aro too – canonly (if that’s a word) doesn’t “like people that way” (see issue 11 page 14). It’s great (although they might have to use the word at some point, so as to avoid conflating it with asexuality).

    And I think they handle the stories well, addressing how his orientation affects his life without making him the butt of a joke (well, there’s some good-natured situational comedy), blaming him for his troubles, or going into LGBT+ 101 (not that there’s anything wrong with education, but it’s boring to people in the know and doesn’t serve to humanize him the way a narrative does – the occasional lingo is enough for unaware aces to make the connection imo). I found him relatable and endearing and am hungry for more.

  2. Blue Ice-Tea says:

    It’s disappointing that he won’t be ace in the T.V. show. From what (little) I remember of the comics, Jughead came across as both aromantic and asexual, and I think they should have stayed faithful to that. That said, I like the idea of Jughead starting out as a (seemingly) sexual character and coming to a realisation of his asexuality over the course of a season or two. It would make sense, given how young the characters are, and how little understood asexuality still is, that it would take him some time to figure out. It would also create an interesting arc for him and provide an opportunity to dramatise common ace experiences.

  3. Siggy says:

    I’ve never read Archie Comics and didn’t really know who Jughead was (aside from being the guy with the crown). I think I would be unlikely to enjoy either the comics or the TV show, but I find it interesting to read about.

    Really, I’m a bit jealous that there is a lot of discussion of ace/aro representation in Jughead, when there is no similar level of discussion of other comic characters, such as from my favorite webcomics. It makes sense, because Archie Comics is much more popular, but its popularity does not make it any more personally relevant to me.

    I am very distrustful of TV writers and simply don’t believe that they will actually give Jughead a coming-out plot arc. I’ll believe it when it happens.

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