In an exclusive interview with Hollywood Life, Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse, who portrays Archie’s best friend Jughead on the series, has confirmed that in the television version Jughead will not be portrayed as asexual. Yet.
Sprouse confirmed that Jughead will have romances with women and, of course, burgers, though he claims he did fight for having Jughead be asexual on the show too. However, that was not to be, and he still had to do the job.
Jughead was only fairly recently confirmed as asexual in the Jughead series, written by Chip Zdarsky who believes the character has always really been asexual in his 75 year history, but that we’ve only recently come to have the words to describe it.
“They just didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.”
For his part, Sprouse has promised to keep on fighting for what is a dramatically under-represented and deeply misunderstood sexual identity,
“Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and vey unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes. I think sexuality especially is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives.”
He implies that season one may not see it, but maybe in the future. Assuming the series gets picked up for a second season.
It is a little surprising that The CW, largely known for being pretty diverse in its shows, is not willing to add that layer to the Riverdale show, especially now it is part and parcel of Archie comics cannon. Of course, the show is making a number of big departures from the source material. It is just a shame that this is one of them.