DC Universe just made a huge step towards being a more inclusive place with its casting of Chella Man as Jericho, the son of incoming Titans character, Deathstroke, whose casting in the series was also recently announced.
Man's name isn't well known in the entertainment industry yet but is a more familiar one in the LGBTQ+ community. Man, who describes himself as a Deaf, genderqueer artist, cultivated a significant online following when he started documenting his transition from female to male through Instagram and YouTube.
While his lack of name recognition in Hollywood may make him seem like an unlikely choice, Man's casting makes perfect sense considering some of Jericho's key characteristics. The Teen Titans' character was rendered mute after his vocal chords were irrevocably damaged by assassins and, like Man, he communicates through sign language. A recent reconfiguration of Jericho's underdeveloped sexuality also confirmed the character is bisexual, which again, Man's identity as a queer person can speak to.
Fair and accurate representation has become a hotly debated subject in pop culture discussion over the last few years. Just last year, The CW received widespread applause for casting transgender activist Nicole Maines as television's first transgender superhero in Supergirl. Around the same time, the network's casting of queer actress Ruby Rose as the Jewish, lesbian heroine Batwoman proved more controversial, as her suitability for the role as neither a Jewish woman or self-identifying lesbian was called into question by some.
That criticism itself was then heavily scrutinized, proving that some aspects of the case for better representation in our media are still works in progress -- works that the effected communities should always be at the forefront of.
There are, however, far more black and white areas then gray ones. Stories like Paramount testing out digital "yellowface" for the live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation (and whitewashing its main character) or more recently, Disney reportedly darkening the skin of white extras on the set of its Aladdin remake to better "blend" them into the film's Middle Eastern setting are rightfully condemned because we've all pretty much agreed, as a society, that white actors masquerading as people of color is highly offensive. No debate necessary there.
Other than just plain racism, Hollywood's continued reasoning behind this kind of appropriation often rests on the appropriate person for the appropriate part simply not existing. During Aladdin's lengthy casting process in 2017, director Guy Ritchie said that he was struggling to find a young actor of Middle Eastern or Indian descent who could also sing and dance. This comment wasn't exactly received sympathetically online, as people politely reminded Ritchie that a little place called Bollywood exists.