Entertainment

Here’s How ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Does Diversity Right In The Superhero Comic Universe

While we’re all anxiously waiting for Hulu to renew ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ for Season 3, let’s recap all the behind-the-scenes reasons we love the show. Marvel’s Universe is ever expanding and ever more representing minorities and women in lead roles. Hulu ordered the show’s creation in August 2016, and the second season was released only a month ago.

This group of superheroes happens to find itself in Marvel Universe’s Los Angeles, specifically Griffith Park, after the teens all run away from their murderous parents’ homes. What we know from the actors themselves is that things are much more light-hearted behind the scenes.

‘Marvel’s Runaways’ is the youngest team of superheroes in Marvel’s Universe.

Credit: @marvelsrunaways / Instagram

The characters are all teenagers, and the youngest, Molly Hernandez, played by Allegra Acosta, even celebrates her quince while on the run. Acosta only just turned 16 years old herself.

They’re the first mostly female superhero group on TV or film.

Credit: @marvelsrunaways / Instagram

Two-thirds of the runaways are female, and they come from a much wider range of ethnic backgrounds than most other Marvel leagues. That said, all the characters are from high-end Brentwood.

Two of the actresses are Latina poderosas.

Credit: @allegraacosta / Instagram

On the show, Allegra Acosta (left) and Ariela Barer (right) play sisters, though adopted. Interestingly, Ariela Barer’s character isn’t Latina.

Ariela Barer is Jewish-Mexican.

Credit: @daredehviI / Twitter

You might recognize her as Goth Carmen from “One Day at a Time,” and in “Marvel’s Runaways,” she plays a character closer to her true self: a feminist overcoming anxiety problems. Oh, and she also telepathically connects with a genetically engineered pet dinosaur.

No selfies are allowed on set without Ariela Barer.

Credit: @lyrica.okano / Instagram

Caption: “When she don’t know how to stop lovin on you… Also! Very important fact: @arielabarer never likes seeing me take a selfie alone, so every “selfie” I have of me on my phone has her right up in it… and I mean, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.”

Barer and her IRL BFF used to have matching purple hair.

Credit: @arielabarer / Instagram

They even tried to start a feminist club at their school, so Barer felt very capable to play the part of Gert Stein. Barer told Brief Take that it’s actually helpful “to have things like the wig and the glasses to help me remove myself at the end of the day,” to remove herself from character.

Allegra Acosta is Tejana through and through.

Credit: @allegraacosta / Instagram

Her parents immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, and introduced Acosta to the love of acting with “Annie.” She was just 4 years old and she locked them in the room to give her very own solo performance. She fell in love.

Her family actually moved to Los Angeles so she could follow her dreams.

Credit: @lyrica.okano / Instagram

Acosta was just 8 years old when she begged her parents to take her to a showcase in Los Angeles. She performed Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and one agency told her they’d take her on if she moved. Six months later, her family uprooted and moved to Los Angeles. Solid move.

Rhenzy Feliz is Dominicano and proud of it.

Credit: @rhenzyfeliz / Instagram

His character isn’t explicitly Latino either, but Feliz’ was born in The Bronx to a 21-year-old single mom. The tight-knit family moved around Florida because she didn’t want to raise him in the cold. 😂

The bromance is very real.

Credit: @rhenzyfeliz / Instagram

I mean, look at this professional photography. According to Ginny Gardner, the two are obsessed with each other.

Caption: “Big brother.”

The Latinos in the show have superhuman strength.

Credit: @maniblivion / Twitter

Guest actor Jan Luis Castellanos played a role in helping Molly Hernandez feel like she has a real community, both in superhero capability and in heritage.

All the actors had to create playlists for their characters.

Credit: @marvelsrunaways ‏/ Twitter

The directors told them to create playlists, and you can actually listen to the actor’s choices. It was all meant to get them into character.

“Marvel’s Runaways” is on Hulu because of “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Credit: @cinemartistry / Twitter

TV lead Jeph Loeb did tell Polygon, “The fact that as we’re coming around the clubhouse turn with ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ erupting and becoming part of the culture is huge.” Loeb wanted something new.

Carolina is Marvel Universe’s first openly gay character.

Credit: @ComicUno / Twitter

At first, the jock was going after her and we were all here to watch her turn him down. When these two started shipping, the internet exploded.

Spoiler: the actress didn’t know her character was part alien until the rest of us did.

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The actors don’t know what’s going to happen until they sit down for the table reading. Apparently, they all have their own conspiracy theories.

16. Lyrica Okano was super sick with food poisoning during this scene.

Credit: Marvel’s Runaways / Hulu

Just hours before this scene was filmed, Okano was being treated by paramedics before being on set by 5 a.m. She literally threw up between scenes.

Neither of these two are gay IRL.

Credit: @lyrica.okano / Instagram

Though Ariela Barer has come out as gay on Twitter. As far as we know, her character only has eyes for Chase.

The Pride ceremonies are filmed in a super old mausoleum.

Credit: Marvel’s Runaways / Hulu

The whole basement is a crypt of bodies that had been there since 1910-1930. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the actor who plays Victor Stein kept trying to freak his colleagues out by saying, “‘You know, dust is actually 99 percent human skin. We all know that. Just guess where this dust is coming from.’ But it was beautiful. We were a little freaked out by how many dead people were around us.”

The actors are all committed to representing a “bigger part of ourselves.”

@marvelsrunaways / Instagram

Fourteen-year-old Allegra Acosta sat down with Stylecaster and had this to say about Latina stereotypes in the industry: “I’m not saying that there isn’t poverty where I’m from or in Mexico. What I’m saying is that they made my race seem like we didn’t work hard and we were always on the side of the street. I didn’t like that. We have to be responsible and represent a bigger part of ourselves.”

Plus, Barer & Feliz seem to be pretty tight with Isabella Gomez.

Credit: @arielabarer / Instagram

Caption: “Slowly turning into an amorphous blob w the one I love most 😍😘”

Feliz sat next to Gomez during the Season 3 release of One Day at a Time, and Goth Carmen (Ariela Barer) and Isabella Gomez are as close in real life as they are on the show.

READ: Queer Latinas Have A Very Relatable Character In ODAAT’s Elena Alvarez

Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

Bryan Bedder / Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a historic town hall last night focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The moderators and presidential candidates tackled topics and hard-hitting issues that have severely impacted the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans. The town hall happened as the Supreme Court is deciding if LGBTQ+ people are deserving of the same discrimination protections as all Americans. Here’s what happened last night.

Texas politician Julián Castro made it clear that religion will not be an excuse for LGBTQ+ discrimination in his administration.

There have numerous attempts by local and state governments to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The bills, often labeled as Religious Freedom bills, have been proposed in North Carolina and Indiana and failed. North Carolina wanted to legislate what bathroom people had to use and Indiana wanted to give religious organizations and business owners the license to outright discriminate against people based on their faith.

“If I’m elected president, the first order of business on January 20, 2021, will be to have a catalog with all of the different executive actions that this president, this administration, has taken, including exemptions that they’ve created or rolled back that has allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ, using as the reason their religion, their excuse their religion,” Castro told an audience member who asked how he will stop religious organizations from using their faith to dictate discriminatory laws. “I will go back to what we did in the Obama administration and then take it to the next level to protect the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that anybody should be bale to discriminate against you because you are a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that folks should be getting funding if they’re doing that. I don’t believe that in the healthcare context, the housing context, the employment context that people should be able to do that. I support the Equality Act and will work to pass that. When I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we did the transgender rule, which as I mentioned, expanded the equal access rule so that transgender individuals can find shelter in a manner that they are comfortable with and in accordance to their preference and that’s what I would do as president.”

Castro’s performance during the LGBTQ+ town hall has received praise from LGBTQ+ people.

Credit: @cmclymer / Twitter

Castro was able to speak about the issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community with an understanding that proves he isn’t going off talking points.

His conversation about faith and the license to discriminate showed his understanding of religion and LGBTQ+ people of faith.

Credit: @TUSK81 / Twitter

Castro wants to keep religion from attacking the very LGBTQ+ people of faith who depend on it. For many religious LGBTQ+ people, seeing religious leaders claim that their faith doesn’t accept them is a harsh reality.

Trans women of color let their voices be heard in a town hall that largely ignored them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted when he started his time on the stage. Trans activist Bamby Salcedo and other trans women of color stormed the venue holding trans flag that read “We Are Dying.” The women chanted “We are dying” and “Do something.” Some audience members joined the women in their protest however others jumped up to take the flag away and end the protest.

Anderson Cooper, who was moderating for Buttigieg, spoke up for the women as they were escorted out telling the audience, “Let me just point out, there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest.”

Cooper continued saying, “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media, of the lives of transgender [people].”

Another trans activist, Blossom C Brown, also took on the moderators about the lack of Black trans voices during the town hall.

A lot of the conversation during the town hall focused on issues impacting gay men, trans women, and bisexual people. Many are calling out the town hall for ignoring trans people of color, lesbians, and non-binary people when it comes to health, housing, identity expression, and other issues impacting these communities specifically.

Ashlee Marie Preston, the only trans Black woman in the program, was taken out of the program by CNN so she publicly boycotted the event.

Credit: @AshleeMPreston / Twitter

There was a pretty glaring lack of trans women and men of color during the hours of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. It is a common complaint within the community as trans women of color have long been ignored and silenced within the LGBTQ+ Rights movement.

READ: After Almost Two Years, Trans Activist Alejandra Barrera Has Been Released From ICE Custody

The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

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The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

Molly Adams / Flickr

The nine justices of the Supreme Court will return to the chambers to an explosive docket. The court is set to hear cases covering an array of social issues from abortion to DACA to LGBTQ+ discrimination to the Second Amendment. It is shaping up to be a major term for the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear a series of cases that could impact some of the biggest social issues in American culture.

Credit: @hshaban / Twitter

All eyes are on the Supreme Court as major cases are being presented. Some of the cases included in the docket for this term of the Supreme Court are the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the definition of “sex” as it pertains to Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act and the LGBTQ community’s right to work without discrimination, an abortion case from Louisiana seeking to limit abortion rights, and a gun regulation from New York City.

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court heard arguments about discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

In almost half of the country, there are no laws protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community from being discriminated against in the workplace. The Supreme Court heard arguments from two gay men and one trans woman claiming that they were fired from their places of work because of their identity.

During oral arguments, when the employers being sued in the case argued that sex is different than same-sex attraction, Justice Elena Kagan suggested that the law does favor the employees.

“If he were a woman, he wouldn’t have been fired,” Justice Kagan told General Solicitor Noel Francisco, who is representing the employers. “This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don’t look to predictions. We don’t look to desires. We don’t look to wishes. We look to laws.”

The Trump administration is aiming to get rid of DACA protections from almost 700,000 young people.

Credit: @SenWarren / Twitter

DACA is a program that was first created by President Obama. It gave almost 700,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the chance to go to college, get work permits, and protected them from deportation. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017 and immediately threw the lives of all DACA recipients in limbo.

United We Dream, a DACA-led media company filed its own brief with the Supreme Court. The brief is a first-of-its-kind video brief with DACA recipients arguing their case for preserving DACA. The organization also included an official written brief.

“DACA has accomplished far more than affording deferred prosecutorial action. It has created lifechanging opportunities for hundreds of thousands of promising young people. DACA has allowed them to lead fuller and more vibrant lives, including by seizing opportunities to advance their education, furthering their careers, providing critical help to their families, and giving back to their communities,” reads the United We Dream brief. “Able to make use of the basic building blocks of a productive life—a Social Security number, work authorization, or driver’s license, for example—DACA recipients have thrived. They are students, teachers, health care workers, first responders, community leaders, and small business owners. They are also spouses, neighbors, classmates, friends, and coworkers. Collectively, they are parents of over a quarter-million U.S. citizens, and 70% of DACA recipients have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen. They pay taxes, contribute to their local economies in myriad ways, and spur a virtuous cycle of further opportunity for many Americans.”

Another case people are watching is an abortion case coming out of Louisiana.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, isn’t aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade but it is hoping to limit the abortion rights of women starting in Louisiana. The law being challenged requires all abortion providers to get privileges are a hospital 30 miles from where the abortions take place.

The case is very similar to a Texas case that the Supreme Court rejected three terms ago. As such, the Louisiana case is asking the Supreme Court to distinguish between the two cases and to determine that the restriction is legitimate if a legislator vouches that the restriction is valid rather than it being valid in practice. As it stands, the law would leave just one doctor in the state of Louisiana allowed to perform abortions.

Another case getting some attention as it sits on the Supreme Court docket deals with the Second Amendment.

Credit: @DaigleLawGroup / Twitter

New York City’s original rule made it so handguns could only be transported to seven gun ranges throughout the city. While the case was originally contested because of the rule. New York City changed the rule and asked the court to dismiss the case as moot, but the court rejected the motion. This will be the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about the Second Amendment’s reach in over a decade and is being hailed as a victory for gun rights advocates.

READ: DACA Advocates Shut Down Joe Biden At Last Night’s Democratic Debate, Here’s The Message They Delivered Loud And Clear