Disney fans and Marvel fans have been happy to see more and more progressive casting choices when it comes to Disney or Marvel movies or TV shows, and those progressive choices have apparently not gone unnoticed! Two recent Marvel projects (the Marvel movie Eternals from 2021 and the 2021 Disney+ show Hawkeye) have just received an official seal of approval for their focus on disability representation.
Lauren Ridloff became an instant fan favorite after the deaf actress played Celestial Makkari (an Eternal with super-speed) in Eternals, and the character Maya Lopez played by Alaqua Cox (a deaf actress who has a prosthetic leg) was also a standout part of the Hawkeye series’ eventful first season.
Do you know your "Power Words?" Learn from Makkari herself, @LaurenRidloff, and see her in Marvel Studios’ #Eternals on Blu-ray & Digital. https://t.co/wVhxmE3A5U pic.twitter.com/0zIJ7A8uSm
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) February 17, 2022
The Hollywood Reporter has announced that both Eternals and Hawkeye earned the Ruderman Family Foundation’s Seal of Authentic Representation. The Seal apparently “recognizes movies and television shows that feature actors with disabilities in roles with at least five lines of dialogue.”
Eternals director Chloe Zhao said that “Makkari [the character played by Lauren Ridloff] is full of heart and wisdom. She is strong, charismatic, mysterious and mischievous. We are very lucky to have found Lauren Ridloff, who is our real-life Makkari!” Zhao also added that Ridloff “has brought this character to life with love and conviction and has taught us so much in the process.”
Sarah Finn, who heads up casting for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, added the following: “Not only was [Ridloff] overly qualified to join an already high-level cast, she elevated the ensemble with her unique spirit, talents and charisma. It’s been a privilege getting to know her through the process and seeing what a real-life hero she has become to so many.”
Finn also praised Alaqua Cox, who plays Maya Lopez (aka Echo) in Hawkeye. “Alaqua Cox’s character, Maya Lopez/Echo, is based off an existing Marvel character who is deaf and Native American,” Finn said.
“In casting the role, we wanted to celebrate and honor both Deaf and Native American cultures. We couldn’t be more delighted by Alaqua Cox’s performance,” she continued. “She is phenomenal and part of a new culture in film and television, where authentic representation not only matters but is paramount to the kind of stories we want to tell and how we shape them.”
Have you seen Eternals and Hawkeye?