Former Superman & Lois writer Nadria Tucker says the show ignored calls for more diverse casting choices, such as those for Martha and Jonathan Kent.
Former Superman & Lois writer Nadria Tucker says the higher-ups on the show ignored calls for actors of color to be cast as Martha and Jonathan Kent. In February 2021, Superman & Lois will become the latest show to join the CW's expansive Arrowverse. The series will focus on Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) as they settle into Smallville with their two sons (Jordan Elsass and Alexander Garfin). Both Clark and Lois have had a hand in various Arrowverse crossovers, but this will be the first time they get to become the stars of their own story.
There's much anticipation surrounding Superman & Lois, but a disturbing report emerged only a few weeks into production. Tucker, who has worked on shows like Underground and Krypton, shared on social media that she had been let go from Superman & Lois after calling out sexism and racism in the writers' room. Those at the CW and on the series haven't commented on Tucker's allegations, which come amid a wave of reckoning for Hollywood and its treatment of people of color.
In a new interview with Jonita Davis, Tucker has opened up about what happened in the Superman & Lois writers' room. When it came to the casting for the series, Tucker explained how she and others on the staff pushed for actors of color to be cast in supporting roles beyond the the villains. The best example of a missed opportunity, Tucker said, was Clark's adoptive parents Jonathan and Martha. Tucker explained:
For example, we pushed for diversity in the beginning with some of the castings of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Because they’re Superman’s adoptive parents, they can be literally anything in the world. And so, we got pushed back on that. They were cast, with, I’m sure, with some great actors. Martha ended up having to be recast. Again, we pushed for diversity. Again, we’re ignored. Stuff like that just adds up, and you see the results on the screen.
Tucker went on to say she and the other writers of color brought this to the attention of the Superman & Lois showrunner, Todd Helbing, and the writers above Tucker. However, nothing appears to have come from their concerns. Superman & Lois has yet to reveal who will be playing Martha and Jonathan, but it sounds like they will not be actors of color.
This year has seen shows like Riverdale vow to do better in promoting diversity, and it is disheartening to hear Superman & Lois didn't get the memo. While the series could take some steps now to apply meaningful changes, Tucker's comments from both the interview and her social media show things have not gotten off to a positive start. Had Superman & Lois cast actors of color to play Clark's parents, the show could've broken new ground within the DC world and perhaps could've even provided a new layer to Clark's home life. Unfortunately, Superman & Lois will have to do more to create an inclusive space that Clark himself would be proud of.